Madison Hanscom

What does being civil have to do with being safe?

What does being civil have to do with being safe


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

It is not a secret… when the workforce perceives that management considers safety to be as important as production, this is associated with great outcomes.
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Kindness is key: The power of respectful relationships at work

power of respectful relationships at work


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Respectful treatment is not always the norm in every work group. There are countless individuals who are required to interact with other workers and leaders who are rude, sarcastic, judgmental, and disrespectful. Incivility can be as subtle was a snarky remark, or as obvious as aggression.
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Can your leader at work influence life at home?

influence life at home



By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Whether it is wrapping up a deliverable, venting about a hard day, or preparing for the next day ahead, many of us bring work home. But has research been conducted to examine the effects of leadership characteristics spilling over into the home domain of their followers? A recent study was conducted to examine the impact that empowering leaders have on their employees’ home lives.
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Human Resources in a Flexible Work Model

Human Resources in a Flexible Work


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

We are currently experiencing more remote work and telework than ever before, and Human Resource professionals are being asked to adapt quickly to this flex work model. Because those in HR are connected with employees from when they enter the company to the day they leave, they have a major impact on the people – and as a result, in shaping the company culture. HR also plays an important role in helping the company make a successful transition to a flex work model.

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Employee Well-being and Flex Work: Research Findings

Employee Well-being and Flex Work


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Virtual work is becoming a part of everyday life for many individuals. What does the research have to say about how it impacts our well-being? Working from home is associated with…

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Organizational Learning and Occupational Safety

Organizational Learning


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

The world is changing, and it is vital to prioritize organizational learning both during times of adjustment and during sustainment periods. Exemplar knowledge sharing and learning are critical components in leading a successful business, and it is also a determinant in leading a safe one.
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Flex Work and Loneliness: What Can We Do?

Flex Work and Loneliness What Can We Do?


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Working from home can be a positive opportunity for many individuals. It might come with a shorter commute, less interruptions, more productive work time, and less stress. Despite the huge number of employees who are enjoying working from home, a dark side to flex work for some can be the aspect of loneliness.
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Considerations for Leaders in Sustaining Organizational Learning within a Flex Work Model

Considerations for Leaders

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Learning organizations are those that acquire information, share it, process it, and use it for continual improvement. All teams must develop mechanisms and buy-in for supporting this knowledge sharing cycle, though it is particularly important that companies utilizing a flex work model do this well in order to succeed. Without a strong collective knowledge bank, it is likely your company will spend a lot of time taking one step forward and two steps back.
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Mindfulness interventions work…. But how about for those in male-oriented jobs?

Mindfulness interventions


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to be a helpful workplace tool for many individuals. They are associated with great outcomes like reductions in stress and negative affectivity. But there are still a few interesting questions remaining…
• Do these interventions only work for people in certain occupations (e.g., education and health)?
• Do these interventions fail for people in certain social contexts (e.g., when they are surrounded by individuals who think mindfulness if a waste of time)?
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Ethics and Flex Work

Ethics and Flex Work

By Madison Hanscom PhD

As more individuals are working from home than ever, this raises interesting questions and important considerations regarding ethics. When working remotely, there are more circumstances in which employees and leaders alike operate under little surveillance. There are several ethical perspectives that should be considered in a flexible work environment. Two important ones are the ethics involved with employee work and the ethical situations leaders might encounter.

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Sit or Stand? Experimental Research Findings on Sit-Stand Desks


sit and stand

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

An interesting study was published recently in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology exploring the effects of standing desks. Employees who worked in sedentary jobs were randomly assigned to a control group (no change in their usual behavior) or an intervention group (were provided with adjustable sit-stand desks and instructions on how to use them).

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Managing Justice Perceptions When Flex Work Causes Interpersonal Conflict

Managing Justice Perceptions When Flex Work


By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

Whether it is full time or part of the time, more people are working from home than ever. Although it is becoming clear that many individuals enjoy working virtually, tensions can build between different groups of employees who work onsite as residents, those who work flexibly between the office and home, and those who work entirely from home.
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Leadership Considerations for a Successful Flex Work Model

Leadership Considerations for a Successful Flex Work


By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

Researchers who study telework argue that successful virtual teams are determined more by successful or unsuccessful leadership rather than other factors such as technology (1). Poor leadership is poor leadership. If you take a substandard leader and move them into a flex work environment - they won’t do any better. There are foundational leadership competencies that help all teams succeed - whether the team is in an office or working remotely. These include leading with a big picture goal and supporting the company’s vision, building interpersonal connections and collaboration, walking the talk, demonstrating ethics and integrity, managing change, creating a safe space for people to speak up and innovate, and more.

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Will Flex Work Change My Culture?

Will Flex Work Change My Culture


By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

As many businesses are considering (or have already decided) moving some employees to a permanent telework model after the COVID-19 outbreak, the question comes up often —
What does this mean for the culture? A company’s culture is composed of the beliefs, assumptions, norms, and core values that the members hold (Schein, 1985). The people are your culture - so any major change in how people work within your company has the potential to change the culture - for better or for worse.

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Is My Culture Supportive of Flex Work?

Is My Culture Supportive of Flex Work

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Introducing telework into a culture that does not support flexible work arrangements can set up a business for failure. It is important to deeply consider culture before, during, and after changes to the company that involve employees working from home. If the attitude is that telework is not going to succeed - it will not. A company’s culture is composed of the beliefs, assumptions, norms, and core values that the members hold (1). Norms and assumptions run deep, and they are all around (staying at your desk late to symbolize commitment to the boss, how long to take a coffee break, the clothes you wear to the office, how you talk to your team vs. your leader, what is frowned upon, and so on). Clearly these everyday practices and assumptions will be disturbed by integrating a major new component into work.

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Rethinking the Tight Grip: A Flex Work Tip for Leaders

flex work tip for leaders



By Madison Hanscom, PhD

If you are accustomed to a leadership style that involves close monitoring to feel in control of what employees are doing daily, this will be a point of consideration when employees transitioning to more flexible telecommuting model. Previously, you might have conducted “walk-arounds” to observe work onsite. With a flexible work environment, this will not be as possible.
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What’s in it for the workers? Benefits of Flex Work

flex work and what is in it for workers



By Madison Hanscom, PhD


In previous blogs we have discussed the benefits companies can experience from Flex Work arrangements (1). Because flexible work requires less commuting and office space, this also has positive implications for the environment. This is because there is an associated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (2). There are clear benefits to businesses and the environment, but how about individuals? Although some individuals experience negative components of remote work, such as loneliness (see our blog post on common challenges associated with Flex Work, 3), there are many positive outcomes employees can enjoy from Flex Work.
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Concerned About Flex Work?

Concerned About Flex Work

By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.


There is evidence to suggest that Flex Work can be a very successful model. Whether working entirely remote from home or in a flex arrangement between the office and home, this can have positive implications for the bottom line (see:
The Financial Benefits of Having a Flex Work Environment) and for the individual.
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Strategies for Workers, From Workers: Creating a Successful Flex Work Experience

Strategies for Workers

By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

The nature of work is changing to be more flexible, and it is becoming more essential to understand the best ways to work remotely. In a research study examining practices utilized by high performing teleworkers (1), strategies were identified that help workers overcome common barriers associated with remote work. These include:
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Leadership Competencies and COVID Re-Entry

leadership-competencies


Drs. Josh Williams and Madison Hanscom

Leaders are looking for direction to manage employees during COVID re-entry. Leaders need to juggle business realities, employees’ physical safety, and emerging mental health struggles that people are facing. Our leadership competency model is a useful framework to guide leadership behaviors as we begin getting back to work.

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Flex Work Teams: Defining a Great Team Member

Flex Work culture 2


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

The future of work is here, and it is more flexible than the past. As a result of COVID-19, many individuals are working from home. A recent estimate was that a third of Americans are completing their jobs in a remote capacity. This has major implications for those who work in teams, and this begs the question - what does it take to be a great virtual team member?
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Walk the Talk During a Time of Crisis: An Application of Propulo’s Safe Production Leadership Model

leadership-competencies

By Madison Hanscom

It is the responsibility of leaders to demonstrate how to act during times of uncertainty. At its core, walking the talk involves leaders acting in ways that align with their stated values and the stated values of the company. When a leader practices what they preach, this builds trust among followers, which is the belief that leaders will act in their best interest. This in turn helps create improved safety culture, morale, and safety outcomes. Although employees always look to leaders as role models, this is particularly important during times of crisis. During difficult moments like the one we are currently in with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are several things you can do to “walk the talk”:
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Drive Thinking & Speaking During a Time of Crisis: An Application of Propulo’s Safe Production Leadership Model

leadership-competencies

By Madison Hanscom

Great leaders do not act like they are the smartest person in the room. They know the value of a team effort, and they value insight from everyone. Regardless of where employees fall in the hierarchy, it is important to get everyone thinking and speaking. This is particularly important during a time of uncertainty or crisis, when workplaces are constantly adapting to the changing environment. People will remember how leaders respond during a time of turbulence, and this includes whether employees feel safe to speak up without negative consequences. This is required if the goal is to have a safe and resilient workplace. There are several things you can do to drive thinking and speaking…
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Checking in with your employees: Mitigating burnout during a pandemic

mindfulness


By Madison Hanscom

For many who are still employed, difficult times will bring exhaustion. We are in a time when routines are being completely uprooted. Many individuals are essential workers, which means they are putting themselves and their families at risk by supporting our communities. These workers often are experiencing new responsibilities, changes in work hours, new stressors and sometimes compassion fatigue. Other individuals are now forced to work from home while juggling new responsibilities, caring for children during work hours, and suffering from guilt or tension if there is a dip in productivity. Read More...

How a Strong Safety Climate Makes a Difference During a Pandemic

crisis_management


By Madison Hanscom

Safety climate is a shared perception that employees have regarding the relative importance of safe conduct in their workplace. This includes the procedures, policies, routines, and behaviors that get rewarded or the behaviors that are expected (1). It is widely understood there are a great deal of benefits associated with having a strong safety climate. A strong safety climate is associated with higher morale, less accidents, stronger safety motivation, more safety behaviors from employees, and so on (2,3). A less visible (yet still important) benefit of having a strong safety climate is the potential to protect workers and the general public from a viral outbreak. Read More...

Staying Mindful During a Pandemic

mindful-in-the-workplace-business-person


By Madison Hanscom & Kelly Cave

We are living in a turbulent time. Unfortunately, when life becomes hectic, we may unintentionally place our mental health on the backburner. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals are feeling extreme financial strain and are trying to juggle increasing priorities. Many people who typically work in professional spaces are now working from home with spouses and/or children and are trying to establish new routines. Amidst the painful anticipation of this unfolding situation, and the current stress we are experiencing, it is important to keep mental health in the forefront.
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Why Sleep is Particularly Important During a Pandemic

man-lying-in-bed-sleeping



By Kelly Cave & Madison Hanscom

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in increased responsibilities for many people. Citizens are learning how to adjust to a new way of life. This might include learning how to work from home, wearing multiple hats while balancing childcare and work, or the stress of supporting older loved ones. When things get busy, we tend to cut back on sleep. Oftentimes we do this so it feels like we have more hours in the day, and your employees are no exception.
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The Impact of a Reduced Social Environment

casual family together



By Kelly Cave and Madison Hanscom

While the act of social distancing is crucial in reducing the spread of COVID-19, being separated from human contact can have detrimental effects on mental health and overall wellbeing. The reason people struggle with isolation is because humans evolved as social beings. In other words, we form groups and organizations that extend beyond our individual selves and these groups help us survive.

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What happens if I discover someone has COVID-19 at my workplace?


leadership-during-COVID-19

By Madison Hanscom

In order to keep yourself, your employees, and others around you free from illness, it is important to backtrack and reflect where you have been in the past two weeks to assess exposure. This includes the work environment. What if one of your employees has been in close proximity to an individual in the workplace who now has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or someone who is displaying symptoms?
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Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Drive Thinking and Speaking

Leadership competencies


By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A key responsibility of leaders is creating an environment where people can do their best work. To do this well, leaders must be able to drive thinking and speaking—in other words, to foster a climate in which people feel they can speak up without fear of negative consequences, known as psychological safety. Leaders drive thinking and speaking by creating an environment of psychological safety, getting employee input for safety solutions, encouraging system thinking, and reinforcing teamwork and collaboration. Leaders who effectively create this environment increase employee engagement and decrease the likelihood of serious injuries and fatalities.
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Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Recognize and Foster Growth

Leadership competencies


By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A critical skill all leaders must develop is the ability to provide high-quality feedback to their team members so they can perform their jobs well and grow and advance in their careers. When leaders do this well, it can fuel employee motivation and commitment, as well as positive safety outcomes. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Build and Live the Vision

Leadership competencies


By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

One of the most important jobs of any leader is to build and live the vision for employees. Building and living the vision means painting a picture for employees of desired performance and living and managing organizational values in everyday interactions. Providing employees with a sense of the organization’s vision and mission should inspire them to align their goals with those of the organization. Research indicates that when leaders encourage employees to strive for something beyond their individual goals, this has a positive impact on safety climate, safety compliance, and safety participation. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Walk the Talk

Leadership competencies


By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

It is not uncommon for leaders – who are pulled in many directions at once – to take shortcuts when it comes to safety. This can be detrimental, however, to safety culture and employees’ safety behaviors. In fact, research has shown that when employees perceive their leaders are not acting in ways that align with the company’s stated safety values, it leads to a decrease in safety compliance, a decrease in prioritization of avoiding accidents, and an increase in injuries.

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Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Active Caring Promotes Positive Safety Culture

Leadership competencies



By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A common complaint of employees is that leadership doesn’t dedicate enough time to listen to and respond to their needs. Over time, this can lead workers to believe their leaders don’t care about them or their concerns, which can erode safety culture. Active Caring is a core leadership competency because it demonstrates organizational support and fosters a sense of support and trust among employees, leading to positive outcomes for employees, the team, and the entire organization.

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Blog Series: Five Core Safe Production Leadership Competencies that Drive Safe Production Culture

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

In today’s increasingly complex workplace, organizational leaders must be equipped to effectively deal with the relentless demands of daily decisions, challenges, and opportunities that impact all aspects of business, including safety. It is increasingly important to make intelligent decisions for safety in order to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities at work. Read More...

How setting goals during action planning can help make training stick

brainstorming working on wall paper post its

By Kelly Cave and Madison Hanscom

Training is an effective way for companies to facilitate knowledge and skill development in their employees, which in turn, helps them remain competitive in their respective markets. The extent to which knowledge and skills learned in training are used on-the-job is commonly referred to as training transfer1. Unfortunately, studies indicate that significant amounts of training content do not end up transferring to the job (2). This lack of transfer is a major concern, in large part because companies spend significant amounts of money on training. According to the Association for Talent Development, each year businesses in the U.S. on average spend over $1,200 per employee on training and development (3). Given the widespread prevalence of training and the large sums of money companies continue to devote to it, it is no surprise that many leaders are concerned with improving their employees’ training transfer. Luckily, there are many techniques that can be used to help make training stick. One of the most well-researched and supported techniques is goal-setting. Read More...

Generational Differences at Work: More Conflict Than Clarity?

team hands all in

By Madison Hanscom

Generational Differences at Work: More Conflict Than Clarity?
Most of us are familiar with generational stereotypes. Millennials are narcissistic, Gen Xers are cynical, and Baby Boomers are judgmental. When scanning the workplace, it might seem easy to find patterns of behavior that correspond with these generational cohort characteristics, but are these patterns actually there? And for any differences that do emerge, are these actually due to generational cohort membership? Read More...

Leadership Visibility: The importance of leaving the desk and getting out into the field

safe workers

By Julia Borges and Madison Hanscom

As we move into a world where the use of technology is rapidly increasing to make our work lives more seamless, it can be easy to forget about the importance of human interaction. While artificial intelligence has become a vital part of organizational performance, human interaction is still at the core of organizational health, culture, and safety. In today’s complex, technology-driven world of work, leaders are as busy as they ever have been, making it difficult for them to get away from their desk and out into the field with their teams. While leaders have a commitment to their tasks, duties, and team members, balancing these critical components can pose quite a challenge for leaders across various types of organizations. Read More...

Staying Engaged and Safe During the Holidays

snow and road

By Julia Borges, Maggie Carey, and Madison Hanscom

‘Tis the season to stay engaged and safe in the workplace. In the midst of the bustle of the holidays, it’s easy for employees to get distracted, which can lead to unwanted incidents or fatalities during such a jubilant time of the year. Even though it might not happen to everyone, it is possible that some employees feel a sense of burnout or distraction around the end of the year. Heightened emotions and the overall chaotic environment of the holiday season also have the ability to exhaust employees both physically and mentally. When physical and mental resources are depleted, employees are more likely to make mistakes and injure themselves or others. Maintaining employee engagement throughout the holidays is key. However, for most companies it’s possible that employee engagement could dip right before the holidays.

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