Neil

How to Pull Off a 4 Day Workweek


The four-day workweek is back in the news after Microsoft Japan announced the results of their experiment earlier this year. A four-day workweek has been a talking point for more than a decade, but this case is particularly interesting because:

  • It comes from Microsoft, a huge brand not known for its innovative work culture
  • It comes from Japan, another huge brand not known for great working conditions
  • They claimed a 40% increase in productivity

Yeah. That’s a bit of a shocker. 

But before you jump into thinking “If Microsoft…in Japan…can pull this off, we should too!”, let’s take a closer look. 

A brief history of the workweek

The seven-day week is one of the few arbitrary time measurements humans use that isn’t connected to nature. Years, months, and days are all tightly coupled with cosmic phenomena. But the number of days in a week is manmade. 

The seven day week (usually with one day off for either religious or market functions) started with either Jewish or Babylonian cultures close to the 6th century BC. It spread to as far as India, China, and Japan. By the 4th or 5th century BC in Christendom, Sundays became the standard day off. 

During the turn of the 20th century was the first mention of expanding rest to more than a day. While he wasn’t the first to offer two full days off, Henry Ford made big news in 1926 when he shut down his factories on Saturdays and didn’t cut wages. Similar to how he doubled his workers salaries, he felt like offering additional time off was a way to look after the overall health of employees, while also creating a larger class of people who had the time and money to enjoy things like automobiles. It also ended up improving productivity at his plants. 

It took a few decades for the five on/two off system to spread, but it soon became accepted across the US and other parts of the world. 

New technological advancements led people like John Maynard Keyes and then-Vice President Richard Nixon to assume that the workweek would just keep getting shorter. 

Experiments with the four day workweek

Before Microsoft Japan, many companies have tried the pattern of four days on/three days off. Some, like governments in Utah and Slingshot SEO, have tried four ten-hour days. Others, like Jason Fried of Basecamp work a 32-hour week during the summer, and 40 hours the rest of the year.

Online education platform TreeHouse has a 32-hour week year-round. Perpetual Guardian, an estate planning company in New Zealand, has been one of the more vocal supporters of the 32-hour, four-day week. In fact, their founders, Andrew Barnes and Charlotte Lockhart started a separate community just to encourage other businesses to try it. The British Trade Union Congress has been advocating for a four day week for a few years now. 

Lasse Rheingans, who runs a consulting firm in Germany has experimented with a 5 hour working day, reducing the workweek down to 20 hours.

Thinking about a 4 day workweek?

There are lots of obvious benefits of a shorter workweek:

  • Easier recruiting 
  • Higher retention rates
  • Better employee morale
  • Smaller environmental impact
  • Fewer sick days
  • More time to care for children and elderly family members
  • Lower operating expenses

But what about productivity?

At the heart of the shorter workweek debate is if business owners can still get the same level of output on a shorter schedule. 

Parkinson’s Law states that work expands or contracts to the amount of time given. With advances in technology, it’s possible to get the same work done in less time, but very few have been willing to cut the hours. Jason Fried says, “When there’s less time to work, you waste less time. When you have a compressed workweek, you tend to focus on what’s important. Constraining time encourages quality time.”

Lasse Rheingans, the guy with the five-hour workday likes the challenge of getting more done in less time. He said, “An an eight-hour day you can mask problems and cheat yourself. This simply isn’t possible within a five-hour day. It’s merciless. It highlights exactly which areas aren’t working and what to take care of—it’s like holding a magnifying glass to every flaw.”

Perpetual Guardian’s study noted equal productivity between a four and five day workweek. Microsoft Japan is talking about 40% increased productivity after reducing the work time by 20%! 

But the answer to greater productivity is not just to slash the hours.   


How to do the four day week right

If you tell everyone to stop showing up on Fridays, you may have some happy employees for a while, but you’ll likely run into trouble down the road if you haven’t planned for it. Here are four key areas that you need to think through.

1. Get your motivation straight

Why do you want to reduce hours? Are you hoping for better productivity? Do you want your employees to be happier? Are you trying to reduce congestion in the office or lower operating expenses?

Your motivation will lead to the metric that will help you gauge the success of your experiment. 

Treehouse CFO Michael Watson said their motivation started from the thought, “We want to take care of our people.” In that case, strict measures of productivity may not be the right tool to use. 

If you are serious, you may want to engage a consultant or local university to help you evaluate the effectiveness of the experiment. 

2. Be employee-led

As with most cultural decisions, mandating things from the top down isn’t a good idea. You should talk with employees and get their insights and feedback. Do they want a four-day week, or would they rather continue to work five, but with fewer hours? How would it improve their lives? What other benefits might be there?

Employees should also think about solutions for how to overcome challenges. At Lassee Rheingans’s consulting company, they don’t allow mobile phones in the office and block social networks for their 5 hour workday in order to increase productivity. If you still need to meet customer’s needs throughout the week, can you work in teams to make sure all days are covered? Does it make more sense to use a seasonal approach like Basecamp?

Andrew Barnes of Perpetual Guardian says, “”The right attitude is a requirement to make it work–everyone has to be committed and take it seriously for us to create a viable long-term model for our business.” Employees must be involved in how it is implemented and monitored.

3. Four days on

Much like remote work, a four-day week is not something you can just try tomorrow. It should be the next logical step on a path your company is already on. If you have already built a culture around employee wellbeing, automation, digital workplaces, and productivity, then transitioning to a four-day week, or reducing hours makes sense. But if you haven’t done the work to prepare your team, then it’s not likely to succeed. 

A four day workweek is not something you can just start. Think about the culture you have now. 

  • How efficient are you? 
  • How well do you use digital tools? 
  • How often are decisions delayed because you are waiting on someone? 
  • Where is the most friction in your daily interactions?
  • When’s the last time you stopped having a meeting because you didn’t need it?
  • How much busy work does your team do that could be automated?
  • How much time is wasted on social media tools?
  • Do you naturally praise people who get more done in less time? Or do you reward the workaholics?

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson said two reasons that his company was able to make the move to four days was that they had already eliminated internal email and managers. They also had a strong culture about unnecessary meetings. 

4. Think about the three days off

One very interesting aspect of Microsoft Japan’s approach was how they encouraged people to use their extra time off. They offered money to employees to do various things like:

  • Take a family trip
  • Learn a new skill
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Visit another office and learn from it

You don’t want to put unnecessary parameters around how people can spend their free time, but you can encourage them to use it in a way that encourages rest, creativity, and service. 

The goal is not for your employees to have time to take up a second job, but to enjoy life, take care of children or family members, and be better humans. If you care for the whole person, you want to make sure that the three days off are spent on things that revitalize the mind and body. 


Take the next step

Ryan Carson gives this challenge, “Are you going to talk about how it would be nice to work less? Or are you actually going to do something about it?” The four day workweek may be the next loonshot–an idea everyone is crazy until it isn’t (ht Safi Bahcall). 

Many thinkers expect the US to be the last country to adopt these kinds of changes because of an unhealthy obsession with work and getting more money for luxury rather than leisure. 

But as a leader, you have the power to make a change. Why not start with experimenting with a lighter workweek? 

Thinking about a four-day workweek should just be the start. Once you realize that you could slash off a day, you start to wonder if it’s not a better idea to decouple the idea of work and time altogether. Or you realize that the whole concept of a workweek is something you can rebuild from the ground up.

Bill Jensen of Simpler Work says, “The real shift isn’t four days or five. That’s using yesterday’s framework to build the future of work. The real shifts are in leadership mindsets and in building completely new metrics for, and new ways of thinking about, productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. In an AI era, where so many tasks will be automated and run by algorithms, productivity must be completely reimagined to include how teammates leverage their humanness in completely new ways.”

It’s easy to look at history and find that the workweek has always been reducing, and it’s almost always been a good thing. You can either be a pioneer in leading the way for better worker rights and wellbeing, or stick to the old ways. We think it’s time for a little WorkMinus.

10 Must-Read Time Management Books to Get the Most Out of Your Day


There are lots and lots of productivity books out there. To read them all would be…well…a waste of time. 

The good news is that most of the books out there agree on the same principles. They are all preaching some form of the same message.

The best productivity book is the one that resonates with you and that you follow. But if you are like me, you sometimes need a shot in the arm once in a while. Or, sometimes it’s nice to use a different tool for the same job now and again. 

Older books used to only focus on productivity in the context of work, but most modern books also include your non-working hours as well.

Productivity and time management books fall along the four productivity pillars pretty well. They specialize in one of these areas: 

  • Task management: Your brain is for having ideas; use technology for managing and executing them.
  • Prioritization: Don’t waste your time doing stuff that doesn’t matter.
  • Focus: Every day is a fight against internal and external distractions.
  • Time/energy management: Your day and body has natural rhythms that you can use to your advantage.

Here are 10 of the best books on productivity. 

1. Getting Things Done by David Allen

Productivity pillars: Task management and prioritization

David Allen is to productivity what Seth Godin is to marketing. It is possible to be productive/be a good marketer without reading their work, but do you really want to take that risk? 

Most of David Allen’s work comes down to clarity. Most people have a foggy sense of what they need to be doing, and an even hazier sense of how to do it, and are in total darkness to know if they finished it. 

Here are some of the basic principles of GTD:

  • Turn all the abstract goals into concrete tasks. 
  • Break big tasks down into small tasks. 
  • Define ‘done’ and ‘doing’. 
  • Reduce the number of open loops and promises that leave you feeling anxious and stressed. 
  • Your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them. 

If you’ve ever been serious about productivity and time management in your life, you need to read this book. Only the most serious productivity geeks will implement the entire system, but there’s a lot of value in just being aware of the basics. 


2. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

Productivity pillar: Prioritization

This is another classic. 2 hours reading quickly through this book is time well spent. 

The book is based on a proverb that is likely misattributed to Mark Twain:

“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

Brian Tracy uses the metaphor of the frog being your biggest, most important task. Get it done first and then the rest of your day will be good. If you have to eat two frogs, go for the bigger/uglier one first. 

At its heart, this book is about prioritization and starting at the top of the list. Tracy says, “Your ability to choose between the important and the unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work.”


3. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Productivity pillar: Focus

This book is geared toward those whose work is more creative (e.g. writing, art, design) but we all have a little bit of creative in us, don’t we?

Pressfield names a common enemy called the Resistance. The Resistance is the thing that accompanies any creative pursuit. It says you aren’t good enough, you can finish later, you don’t need to do anything today, you’ve done enough, etc. The Resistance includes all the internal and external distractions you face in life. 

“You think the resistance isn’t real? The resistance will bury you.” 

First, you must recognize that the Resistance is a sign that you are doing something good. To combat the Resistance, Pressfield says you must turn from being an amateur to a professional, and listen to the Muse. If it doesn’t make sense, read the book. It’s short. 


4. Deep Work by Cal Newport

Productivity pillar: Focus, time management

This book makes a sharp distinction between deep work and shallow work. Deep work is cognitively demanding and requires a tremendous amount of focus. Shallow work can be done while you’ve got Netflix playing in the background. 

Newport says that:

  1. Very few people are good at deep work.
  2. Being good at deep work is where the real value is. 
  3. The more you do shallow work, the worse you get at deep work. 

He says that you need to structure your day so that you spend the most amount of time possible in a deep work state. When you jump back and forth between tasks, bits of residue follow you from one to the next. It takes time to settle into that other work without the distractions. 

Newport has other books on Digital Minimalism and other similar topics. But the thing I like the most about Cal Newport is that he takes his own advice about not coming out of deep work so seriously that he gave a friendly denial to our invitation to come on the podcast until he finished his book, Digital Minimalism


5. 168 Hours by Laura Vandercam

Productivity pillar: Time management

Laura Vandercam actually has several books about productivity: Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, and Juliet’s School of Possibilities. They all focus on how you can get the most out of the time you have.  

Everyone thinks they don’t have enough time to do the things they want to do, but Vandercam says we’ve got plenty of time. If you try to do everything, you’ll always feel behind. But if you can focus on your core work, you’ll have plenty of time to get it done. 

Vandercam says most people have no idea how they spend their time. Similar to a food journal, she recommends keeping a time journal so that people can actually see where they have waste in their day and unnecessary activities. 

I really like that this book focuses on weeks. Trying to be productive every day can be really hard, but if you look at an entire week, it’s short enough that you can start over fresh again, but long enough to give you some momentum, while also hiding a few bad days here and there. 


6. The One Thing by Gary Keller

Productivity pillar: Prioritization

This book is a nice expansion on the adage, “Success is about doing the right thing, not doing everything right.”

Keller says that we need to focus on fewer things. Just do the one thing that really makes all the difference, and everything else will turn out ok. 

While we can all agree, finding that one thing can be very challenging. We see many tasks as equal, we believe we have enough willpower to bulldoze through anything, and we can keep multiple things going at once. 

Keller says all that is wrong and we need to choose the one thing that matters most and give it all the time it demands. 


7. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

Productivity pillar: Time management and prioritization

This is a classic book that everyone entering the workplace should read. Drucker advises executives to be as accountable for their time as they are for their budgets. He says to consolidate your time into the largest possible units, and advocating for working from home one day a week. Drucker says meetings should be the exception rather than the rule and we should focus mostly on results. 

Prioritization is also a key topic. He urges executives to answer this question to their managers, “What are the contributions for which this organization should hold you accountable?” Like others after him, Drucker says to focus on strengths and where you deliver top results. 


8. 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman

Productivity pillar: Focus, time management

Peter Bregman has given us a lot of ways to be better leaders (like being emotionally courageous), but there’s no doubt that time management and focus is a big one. 

Like others, Bregman advocates for doing fewer things and focusing on your strengths. He calls into question motivation, saying that you don’t really need that much, just enough to get you started. As long as you don’t spend a lot of time switching between tasks, you will be fine. 

The formula for the title of his book is:

  • 5 minutes at the start of the day to plan
  • 1 minute every hour to pause and reset (8 minutes total)
  • 5 minutes at the end of the day to reflect and make changes

I really like the idea of pauses and it’s easy to get distracted in the middle of something. Scheduling in a pause lets to keep in check if you are doing the right thing. 


9. How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett

Productivity pillar: Time management

This is the oldest book on the list, dating back to 1908. Bennett’s message is just as clear and apt now as it was then. We all get the same 24 hours and we can’t save it. You’ll never have more time than you do right now, so focus on the important stuff. 

While the basic principles of the book sound very familiar, there are a few interesting warnings that he offers:

  • Don’t insist that other people follow your productivity program. Everyone has unique needs.
  • Don’t become a slave to your own program. Make sure it is strong enough to keep you accountable, but flexible enough to give you space to live. 
  • Living from task to task isn’t really living. Don’t try to do everything. Be realistic in your limits.
  • Start any new system slow. Don’t overdo it at the start.

10. Indistractable by Nir Eyal

Productivity pillar: Focus and time management

This is one of the best books out there on learning about how to handle distractions. 

Eyal says that the key to living a focused life is to learn to deal with discomfort. We get distracted because we get uncomfortable and go out seeking a fix.

Instead of indulging in distractions, or feeling guilty about them, Eyal says that we should observe them and allow them to dissolve. We should examine what lead up to the distraction and explore it curiously. Rather than saying, “No, you can’t check Facebook now,” allow yourself the permission to check it, but only after 10 minutes. Usually over that time, the need will dissipate.

He also focuses on the importance of identity and promises you make to yourself. Rather than saying, “I’m not going to look at my phone for the next hour,” Eyal suggests saying, “I’m not the kind of person who needs to check his phone every hour.” That’s a much more positive, aspirational statement and much more likely to help us. 

Eyal says, “Time management is pain management.” If you can learn to be uncomfortable, you will be able to get a lot more done. 


Missed one?

I usually read 1-2 productivity books a year to refresh my mind on what’s important. Most of the ideas in these books aren’t something you couldn’t figure out on your own, but the authors present the material in a way that encourages you to take a fresh start. 

Everyone has their own favorite productivity book. What’s yours? Tag @WorkMinus on LinkedIn and we’ll add it to the list!

10 Time Management Tips You Haven’t Tried Yet

Here are some of the tried and tested time management techniques that will help make your day more productive.

Productivity Starts With Knowing Your Limits

The first hard truth of productivity is that you can’t do as much as you think you can. 

You can make hundreds of calls a day. You can close dozens of deals. You can write thousands of lines of code. You can recruit dozens of candidates. You feel invincible and immortal in your mind. 

But statistically speaking, you are average.

You inflate what you are capable of. You aren’t an outlier. You don’t scale the same way a computer does. You are, alas, a human. It’s easy to ignore median output and assume that you are an incredible exception that works in a flow state, at will, ad infinitum. 

But as a human, you have built-in limitations. These limitations are physical, mental, social, and chronological. Until you recognize those limitations, you’ll never feel productive; you’ll always assume that you could be doing more. The first step to being truly productive is to have an honest assessment of what you are realistically capable of doing.

Physical limitations

There are limits to what your body is capable of doing–both in one-time activities (e.g. pulling an allnighter), and over weeks, seasons, and years. Your body requires regular, quality sleep to function correctly. You need to eat properly and allow your body to digest the food. You need to maintain your body with regular exercise. You will face the limitation of sickness once or twice a year. Your body will respond negatively to repeated stress. If you travel a lot, that takes an additional toll on how productive you can be.

Think about the times you thought you could just work through the night on a project, skip a meal, or relied on ridiculous amounts of caffeine or other drugs to keep going. What about the seasons when you got so busy that you quit exercising or eating well? 

If you were to go back and judge your productivity during those times, you would probably find that you weren’t much more productive than seasons where you treated your body right. 

Accepting your physical limitations means acknowledging that these shortcuts are actually detrimental to your productivity.

Mental limitations

For most of humanity’s existence, ‘work’ has meant relying on our body and mind working together, whether as a hunter-gatherer or an early farmer. Once the industrial revolution came about, our bodies were no longer a match for the machines. But, we were able to create and move to an enormous amount of jobs that are based mostly only on our brains. In fact, we can be ‘productive’ knowledge workers while letting our bodies rot.

But our brains have limitations. Just like the rest of the body, the brain isn’t meant to work for hours on end; it requires breaks, variety, rest, and maintenance.

When you add in the required breaks, it’s unlikely that you have much more than five or six hours of highly productive mental work in you every day. Sujan Patel, who runs nine companies, admits that he only gets in six hours on a great day. When you try to go beyond that, your work becomes sluggish and you grow increasingly inefficient.

Accepting your mental limitations means acknowledging that you have a limit on how much mental work you can do in a day, and intentionally providing your brain with rest and other activities. 

Social limitations

Hopefully, you have people in your life whom you care about. These people will need you from time to time. 

You might be the mother or father of young children, or the child of rapidly aging parents, which both require a lot of time and energy. Your spouse needs you to spend time decompressing and talking about the day. 

Emergencies happen and you may need to take a trip to the hospital or make a meal for someone. You promised the kids a camping trip over the summer. Your friends plan a week-long fishing expedition. 

The truth is we cannot function without these human interactions. 

We usually sum up social limitations with the phrase “Life happens.” The more people you know, the more chances that these social limitations will be present in your life. Social limitations are a great reminder that we are much more than our jobs. You shouldn’t feel bad about not hitting your numbers at the office the same week that your cousin got married and you decided to fly out a day early to spend some extra time with family. These are sacred, human events and we shouldn’t look down on them. 

Chronological limitations

In a world that feels infinite, it’s easy to fall into the trap that we think our time here is infinite as well. But we need to constantly be reminded that we have time limits. You only get a certain number of trips around the sun.

Especially if you live in an affluent society where your basic needs are met and you have no concerns about food, water, and shelter, time truly is the main limiting factor in your life. If nothing else, your ability to be productive is directly limited by the number of hours in a day. There’s only so much work that can be packed in. You only get to be the age you are for one year and then you must get older.

Living within your limits

All of these limitations are good, but our first instinct is to deny or minimize all of them. We believe we can push our bodies even further, that doing more work is just a matter of willpower, that we could get so much more done if it weren’t for the people around us, and that somehow our time supply is limitless.

You will never feel like a productive person until you accept the limits of productivity. We’ll talk more about what it means to accept those limits, but the most important starting place is to stop and see yourself for the social human that you are. 

Network Beyond Bias by Amy Waninger – Book Review

This book is for anyone who wants to stand up and take the first step towards being an ally, but lacks diversity in their own personal network.

Who Controls Your Day? Big Thoughts on the Importance of Time Management

The hardest part of achieving productivity is believing you are mortal. 

This is how the logic goes in our minds:

  • Every person who has ever lived on the planet has either died or will die one day
  • But, I haven’t died yet.
  • Therefore, I’m probably going to live forever. 

In a fractalish way, we apply the same mindset to our time at work. 

  • Every working day so far, I’ve reached a point where I need to stop and can no longer complete any more tasks.
  • But, I’ve got a lot of things to do today and a pot of coffee.
  • Therefore, I will get all of them done today.

As humans, we struggle with the concept of time. We seem to experience it as eternal, but we have all these reminders that it isn’t. 

So, the secret to being productive (and perhaps to life–oh?) is coming to terms with the importance of time management. You only have a few productive hours to the day. Like 5-6 hours. Superhuman Sujan Patel, who runs 9 companies, says that he’s probably only good for about five hours a day.

Nonsense! You say. I can work easily for 10-12 hours if I must. 

Shut up. You are always wrong about this. You get six.

Time is on your side–unless you waste it

At its core, productivity is the intersection between task management and time management. You have a lot of things to get done and you need to find the time to do each one. 

You have plenty of time to get your most important tasks done. But if you try to get everything done, you’ll run out of time each day and not have much to show for it. So, if you know the importance of time management, then what you need is a way to make sure that you spend the right amount of time on your most important work every day. Sounds easy, right?

Two people you definitely don’t want to tell you how to spend your time

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have full control over those six hours and it feels like they get mismanaged a lot. Here are the two groups of people that tend to be bad managers of your time.   

1. Other people 

Your boss, your colleagues, your reportees, Julian in marketing, the birthday planning committee…everyone wants to tell you how to spend your time. But everything goes to hell when you let other people dictate how you spend your time. 

Other people think you are twice the immortal they are and have limitless time to get all of their priorities done. If you spend your day accomplishing what other people think you should do, you’ll never get it done and you’ll just feel bad at the end of every day. 

2. You

As established, you are a bad judge of time. You get distracted. You don’t know how long things will take to get done. You are drawn to all the easy stuff and avoid doing the hard things that have a real impact. 

So who else can do it?

The most sacred productivity moment of the day

We must start with the fact that our brain goes through many different states throughout the day. At times we are impulsive and erratic–let’s call it your survival brain. Other times we are thoughtful and wise–or, your focused brain. The survival brain is your default brain state and is in charge most of your day. It takes a lot of work to shift from the survival brain to your focused brain state. 

The time that you spend prioritizing tasks should be the most insightful and clear-minded that you will be throughout the day, and when your focused brain should be hard at work. When faced with a list of tasks and specifically asked which ones are the most important, your focused brain is pretty damn good at picking the right ones. 

But when given the same list of tasks and addinging in time crunches, messages from other people, numerous distractions, and a noisy open office plan, your survival brain takes over and starts accomplishing whatever seems like the most immediate threat, or the easiest win. 

Giving yourself five minutes away from the madness to ask the question “What’s most important?” is often all you need to make the switch from one brain to another, but there’s one point of the day when your focused brain is most likely to show up. For most of us, this comes at the end of the day when we finally come to grips with our mortality and limits as humans. 

You think back on the day and ask, “Was it a good day or a bad day?” You imagine a friend or spouse asking how your day went. If you are productivity-minded like me, your answer lies in how many tasks you got done and if you got the big stuff done. If the answer is “It was a good day,” you can probably look back and see that you made progress on your big tasks and you moved forward in key areas. You did a good job matching your tasks to your time.  

If you think back and all you can see are small tasks, distractions, meetings that didn’t amount to much, and those same big tasks that you successfully avoided, then you know that you let one of those groups of morons run your day. 

It is at this moment that you will naturally make the best decision about how to manage your time tomorrow. You are more clear-minded than you’ll ever be. Your focused brain is in full evaluation mode. Your survival brain doesn’t do well reflecting on the past, so it has taken a back seat. When reflecting at the end of the day, you have the ability to start the next day fresh and either replicate your success, or fix the issues you had before. All the most effective time management strategies boil down to whether or not your focused brain is in charge when it comes time to decide what to do for the day. 

The Ivy Lee time management strategy

The story goes that back in 1918, PR consultant Ivy Lee was working with the Bethlehem Steel corporation. When asked for help in improving the productivity of the whole company, he gave this plan to the CEO:

  • Clearly define your vision and goals.
  • At the end of the day, write down the six most important tasks to achieve these goals.
  • Rank these six tasks according to their importance.
  • At the start of the next day, start with the first task and don’t move on until it is completed. Then move to the next task.
  • At the end of the day, reassess the priority of any new and uncompleted tasks.

There are two keys to making this method work for you. 

First, you do your prioritizing at the end of the day when you are most clear minded about what is important. 

Second, when you have to start on your most important task before you do anything else. Before you say hello, before you get your coffee, before you open your computer, before you check your email or messages. Before you do anything, you must give your full attention to the most important thing. Start doing it and don’t stop until you finish it. Then go get a bagel.

If you follow this single time management technique everyday for the rest of your working life, you will have an awesome career. Even if you do a Ivy-lite version and only get 1-2 of your most important tasks done, you’ll still wind up being awesome. 

End of the day hygiene

If you really want to take this method seriously, you need to block time for it at the end of your day. You really only need five minutes to do it, but it will make a huge difference. 

However, you will need to practice good workspace hygiene if it is going to work well. Many times at the end of the day, you’ve got 10-20 tabs open on your browser of things you abandoned throughout the day. Or papers laying at your desk. If you leave them all up (or out), then when you start the day tomorrow, you’ll immediately get sucked into finishing whatever was up.

Instead, close down all your tabs. Add any lingering tasks to your task management system so you don’t lose them. Then, pull up the tab or paper that has your most important thing to do tomorrow so that you reduce any kind of friction and your focused brain can start right away with nothing in its way. 

The importance of time management

If you are serious about getting productive, then you have to be serious about time management. There are lots of effective time management strategies and tips out there, and we’ll explore more of them in the future, but the most important one is who calls the shots. If you leave that to other people or to your survival brain, then you’ll always be disappointed with what you can get done. 

Take time management seriously, trust your better brain, and plan your day the night before. 

You Can’t Be Productive Without a Task Management System

A key step to being productive is to establish your task management system. 

One of your limitations as a human is the number of things you can keep in your head at any time. The human brain is capable of remembering lots of things, but we can only keep so many things front and center. 

Thoughts about tasks come in and out of our head very lucidly. You get to work first thing in the morning and try to focus on your weekly report. But before that, you have to close down some tabs you have up that remind you that you really need to finish off the slides for a customer demo. 

You clean up the slides and start to move back to the report, when a nagging feeling hits you that you are forgetting something. You check your calendar. Shit, is that webinar scheduled for today? You quickly sketch out an outline, but then remember that Andrea had said something insightful in one of your chat groups that you wanted to include. You open up that application, and then all hell breaks loose and that report has no chance of getting done. 

This is your brain

This is how our brains are built. We can focus on what we are doing right in the moment until some emergency presents itself and then we have to shift all of our attention. Tasks randomly jump to the top of our consciousness like one of those old school lottery ball machines.

https://mcanv.com/Obs%20Archive/images/lottery_machine.jpg

This might have been a good system for the old hunter-gatherer trying to stay alive, but it’s pretty horrible for the modern office worker who has dozens of things to remember and prioritize. 

What is a task management system?

A task management system externalizes all of these random thoughts and relieves your brain from having to constantly store and sort them. Instead of being constantly distracted by emergencies and thoughts that pop into your head, you can quickly capture and later sort through them later. 

The two essential functions of a task management system

At its core, a task management system must do two things.

  1. Capture and store task reminders
  2. Prioritize tasks

Good productivity recognizes that your best ideas may come to you when you are already being productive at something else. You don’t want to ignore that idea, but you don’t want to indulge it either. You need a tool that can nearly instantly let you take those distractions, and put them in a system where you can organize them later. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. 

Ideas come randomly in your head, or from action items at a meeting, or when you are working on something else, or when you are sifting through your communication. 

Your task management system is the place where all of these ideas sit in one place. But if it is just a dumping ground of ideas, it’s not enough. You also need to be able to quickly look at all your tasks and arrange them based on their relative importance and urgency so that you get the most important things done first.

Qualities of the best task management systems

1. Universal

You don’t want one list in your email, a bunch of sticky notes on your desk, and then a separate app on your phone to handle your tasks. You need one master system that holds everything.

2. Mobile

Let’s face it–some of your best ideas come when you are on the toilet. Or at the park. Or riding in the car. That said, your task management system shouldn’t be exclusively mobile. When it’s actually time to work, you probably don’t want to pull out your phone and risk being distracted. 

3. Connected

When sorting through your email, it’s nice to be able to just click a button and have it immediately go to your task management system. Or when you schedule a meeting, for you to have a quick option to assign a task to prepare for it. Or when you are having a discussion online to quickly pull a task out of it. At this point, there are very few systems out there that have this deep of an integration will all your tools, but just having the ability to capture the URL of where that work needs to happen is enough. 

Benefits of using a task management system

You know where to go when it’s time to work

When it’s time to sit down and work, you don’t load up your email or messaging app. You look at your task management system and start hitting the big stuff. Work is what happens when you are moving through all of your tasks, not just sitting in your chair.

For me, a great task management system is a centering tool. I can relax knowing that all of my ideas and reminders are safe in one place. When it’s time to work, I don’t have to go through the anxiety of wondering what I should be doing. I know what I need to do and I can sit down and do it. This is especially useful when I hit that afternoon slump and am easily distracted and need something to pull me back in. 

Your task management system is the boss

A good portion of what you probably do at work is controlled by other people through meetings, notifications, emails, and more. Another large portion is all of the internal distractions you face. Even if you are focused on a task, your brain is still on high alert mode and aware of other things you could be doing. Like going to finish off that cheesecake in the break room. 

So, who is in charge of what you do? Other people? Or your lizard brain?

Instead, when you let a task management system be your boss, i.e. determine what you work on, you get to take advantage of trusting that your higher brain knew what it was doing when it prioritized your tasks.

You make a barrier between communication and getting shit done

Many of us confuse communication with accomplishing tasks. When you are talking with others about work, you are rarely getting tasks done. Communication and dialog is a vital part of work, but it isn’t everything. If most of your day is spent switching between your email and messaging applications, you aren’t likely getting much done.

When you do your communication, it’s like going out to check your mailbox. It’s an important part of the day. But you don’t spend your whole day sitting at the mailbox and continuously checking to see if anything new has come. You visit only a few times, check what’s there, and sort it appropriately. Then you get back to work. 

You are already using a task management system

You don’t have to create one or go out and spend a lot of money on technology. You mostly need to decide if the system you are using is a good or bad one and if you can improve it. 

Good systems I’ve tried

A piece of paper 

There have been seasons when I just take a big piece of paper and write out everything that is top of mind at the start of the day. I might star the things that are top priority and then just work on mowing down the list. 

This is my default system when I’m stressed or when I really need to focus, such as right before I start packing for a big international trip. I’ve also used it around the office by just writing down 3-4 of my most important tasks and keeping that by me all day. It’s still my preferred method on weekends when I have a wide variety of tasks to choose from. 

The down side of a single piece of paper is that you can lose it, it’s hard to change priorities, and can’t last for more than a few days until you need to make a new one (not always a bad thing to clear it all out and start fresh). 

Flags 

To help with prioritizing things, you can use sticky notes or flags to keep track of tasks. This solves the prioritization issue because it creates a kanban feel where you can move things around. 

You get some bulletin board and then write your tasks on the flags and arrange them on the board in order of priority. The flags are really easy to move around (taking drag and drop to a whole new level), and it feels damn good to see a pile of flags sitting there of things you’ve accomplished for the day. 

The downside of flags is that they don’t link to your digital tools like email, and you can’t take them with you easily if you are working in a different location for the day. 

Spreadsheet

You make a simple spreadsheet with the name of the task, a column for any links to quickly access the work, and a column to set the priority. If you auto-sort the sheet based on the priority column, you’ve got a nice system that can capture, prioritize, and integrate pretty well. 

The downside of spreadsheets is that, well, it’s a spreadsheet, and is destined to make you depressed at some point in your life. The user experience is lacking a lot, and it can be hard to keep a record of everything you’ve done if you are deleting rows. 

Dedicated software

Everyone’s got some tool they’ve tried at some point. This is where you realize that it is a very personal thing what tool you want to use. I tried to use Evernote at least three separate times. I’m sure people aren’t lying when they say how awesome it is, but I just don’t get it. I used Remember the Milk for a long time with some success. And I’ve tried Todoist and Wunderlist. They are all fine, but usually are just a bit more complex than I want. 

I used Google Tasks for a long time and its integration with Gmail was great. But just when they cleaned up the UI, they also forced you to only be able to see the tasks on your desktop when you had your email up, which is horrible for distractions. 

Bad Systems

Bad systems make you focus on the system, invite distraction, and don’t let you prioritize your most important tasks.

Email

Ever sent yourself an email as a reminder to do something? Stop that. Email is built for distractions and should only be used as a tool for communicating with people outside your company. Do not keep emails in your inbox to remind you to do them later. You are not working when you are going through your email. You are only sorting your communication. 

Apps that you fiddle with all the time

It will take 2-3 days to create a new task management system and configure it to your tastes, but after that, you should pretty much never work on it again. If you find yourself constantly messing with it, it’s not a good system for you. Spending time on your task management system itself is not being productive. Don’t be deceived. 

Now, get back to work

Having a good task management system is essential to being productive. There are lots of good systems out there, but most of us are stuck using sloppy ones. Be intentional and create your own system that works for you. 

How to Create a More Inclusive Workplace

“Diversity is getting invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” 

-Vernā Myers

You may have built a diverse workplace. There may be African-Americans, people from the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and a diverse age range. Great, you’ve hit your diversity goals. Now what?

Do women in your office occupy positions of real power? Can trans people make it through the week without an invasive question? Are there microaggressions when a Muslim steps out of a meeting to pray? Do black folks keep getting complimented for being so well-spoken? Do Latinos get to enjoy their lunch without a Taco Tuesday comment?

Now that you’ve built a diverse team, the real hard work is about to begin. 

Beyond tokenism

It’s tempting to think that you can just throw all of your properly proportioned team members into the same room and expect them to suddenly be highly innovative and productive. 

But unless you take an inclusive approach to diversity, all you’d done is made the issue worse. 

What you have created, my friend, is tokenism, or only hiring these people to avoid criticism and to make it appear that your company treats everyone fairly. 

The diversity you have created doesn’t mean much if your staff doesn’t practice inclusion. Moe Carrick, founder of Moementum, Inc. says diversity is the mix while inclusion is what you do with the mix. So, how do you create an inclusive environment that brings out the beauty and power of our differences? 

There’s good and bad news.

The bad news is you can’t do it in a day. Or in a week. Or a year. It’s not that easy. You can not root hundreds of years of discrimination with a half-day diversity training program. There are people who devote their entire careers to this and look back to realize everything moved a few inches. 

The good news is that if you, as a leader, can bring about a change in the mindset of your employees. It’s a long and difficult road, but you can get there. You can lead by example and make your employees see that we must acknowledge our differences and treat each other with dignity.

Bring your bias to the dais

As a team leader or functional head, the onus of instilling an inclusive culture in your team falls on you. And guess what, you have a ton of bias just sitting inside you. Take a look at any of Harvard’s implicit bias tests if you need proof. 

The absolute best thing to do first is to call out your own biases and name them. When biases go unnamed, they keep the power. They love to lurk in the darkness and are easy to deny. Instead, when we bring them out in the open, they don’t seem so insipid. 

Lead by example and others on your team will be more comfortable to be open with their biases. 

Stop using the phrase “culture fit”

The norms of power and the embedded rewarding system in most organizations are directed at people who ‘fit’. In our interview with Leron L. Barton, he said:

I just thought back to whenever I would interview at a company or tech firm, they would always stress culture fit. “Well, you have to fit the culture here. We have a certain work culture here. Or our culture at this company is blah, blah, blah.” And so, I just found that that was a new way to discriminate against people and block them from saying, “Oh, well, yes, on paper, he or she was fantastic. But they didn’t really fit the work culture.”

It’s a dangerous word because it can exclude. It’s usually code for “you’re not like us”. It stops managers from hiring people who are different from themselves. It stops people from fraternizing with their coworkers. 

Pay close attention during your meetings

Meeting behavior tells you everything you need to know about inclusion–whose voice is heard and who gets interrupted, who speaks the last word, and how the dominant group responds to an outlandish idea. 

It’s highly likely that white males dominate the meeting and women and people of different races do not get their due credit. Whose ideas are discredited? Who forces everyone to listen? Who summarizes other people’s thoughts? 

If you notice these subtle behaviors and microaggressions, then you know your workplace needs a dose of inclusion. Establish clear meeting policies that allow people to participate freely and amplify the voices of women and other marginalized communities. Experiment with appointing a leader to keep the meeting on track, someone who isn’t the usual person in charge. Ensure that people don’t interrupt each other and give credit to the original idea creators.

Hand over the power

It’s tempting to want to take charge of this and every conversation regarding inclusion. But the best thing you can do is to give up as much power as possible. Who plans your holiday celebrations? Who gets the final say for decorations and art around the office? Who plans the company offsites? Even if you try to be a benevolent privileged group, it isn’t the same as turning over full power and authority to people from marginalized communities.   

Be a good human

There’s no point in having extra seats for marginalized people at the table if they don’t feel like they belong there. Adding to what Verna Myers said, belonging is dancing like no one is watching. 

Human things like sitting down and listening, asking for someone’s opinion, making eye contact, and giving genuine appreciation are always appropriate. 

Over to you

The topic of diversity and inclusion is broad and extensive and it’s a massive challenge we all need to tackle to create a better workplace for everyone. Hiring goals are the first step an inclusive environment but this won’t automatically create one. 

Inclusion is not a one-off thing but it’s an ongoing process. It’s close to impossible to teach employees how to be inclusive because it requires them to identify unconscious biases, put emphasis on key moments, build new habits, and be a good ally. Take the first step today!

How to Be a Good Ally

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. 

-Desmond Tutu

The first time I heard the word “ally” in the Diversity and Inclusion topic was on Jennifer Brown’s episode of the WorkMinus podcast. I was pretty intrigued by this word because I knew its conventional meaning yet I had no idea what it meant in this context. 

“So, I can have a conversation with others to educate them and remove the burden of having to do that all the time from people who are transgender. It’s something that I can show my allyship in.”

Having spent almost all of my life in India, a country where I feel like people only look out for themselves, I found the concept of allyship interesting and important. It’s something we need to talk about often. And a lot more. 

Who is an ally?

An ally is someone from a privileged group who actively promotes and aspires to support people from marginalized groups such as LGBTQ+ people and black folks. Allies use their privilege to bring awareness to these issues and create opportunities for those put at a disadvantage. 

A straight ally is someone who stands up against prejudices against members of the LGBTQ+ community and a white ally is someone who opposes racism against people of different ethnicities. 

Allies and world wars 

My love for history makes me think about the world wars when I hear the word ‘ally’. I find it quite interesting because, we’re still talking about war–a war on racism, misogyny, bigotry, and all other ugly things that are wrong with our world. And, the allies play an important role in fighting these spiteful elements. 

Being an ally means not just standing up against discrimination but acknowledging that you may be contributing to the problem as well. It is important to become aware of these unconscious biases and make efforts to address and eliminate these prejudices. 

[Read how Neil caught himself doing this during an interview with LeRon L. Barton.]

Anyone can be an ally

The most important thing about allyship is that you’re not really an ally until someone from a marginalized group recognizes you as one. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t try to be an ally to a marginalized community.

Allyship is an ongoing process of connecting with disenfranchised and discriminated communities. It’s building a relationship that’s based on mutual trust and respect. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow with people that you normally wouldn’t while creating the world a little bit better for everyone than what it was yesterday. 

How can you help?

You don’t have to be in a position of power to be an ally. You might be from an underrepresented group and still be an ally. For example, take a white woman and woman of color. Even though they both face the same problems, one group faces an additional disadvantage because of their race. 

Understand your privilege

The first step to being an ally is understanding your privilege. What that means is that there are some things in life that you have never experienced or will never experience just because of who you are. Here’s an example. There are 17 states in the US where you can legally be fired on grounds of your sexual orientation. If you’re a straight person, you’ll never have to think about it. 

Before you can fight for the rights of others, understand what privileges you hold that others don’t.

Even the marginalized may have some levels of privilege. This is called intersectionality. You can use this privilege to use your voice for others. As a black male, you can do more for the black members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Listen to people 

Hundreds of people share their stories every day on the internet. Start reading tweets, blogs, and news articles and get caught up on the issues that the marginalized communities face. Only once you’ve done your homework and have a thorough understanding of the issues that are important to them, you can take meaningful actions.

Speak for them when they’re not in the room

Being an ally is about integrity. It’s about doing the right thing even when no one’s looking. To be a good ally, use your position of power to voice for those not in the room. This includes calling out blatant things like racists comments. But it is even more important for microaggressions and things that are easy to sweep under the rug. 

Speak up but don’t speak over

A good ally knows when to shut up.

An ally’s job is to support; to make use of privilege and voice to promote and say great things about the community members. But, make sure that you say it in a way that does not speak over them or take credit for what they already have been saying. 

Being an ally doesn’t make you a part of the group you’re trying to support. If you help your friend build a house, it doesn’t mean you get to live in it.

Being an ally is more important than saying that you’re an ally

Being an ally is neither a self-proclaimed title nor a passive statement. Writing monthly checks to a non-profit is not the same as being an ally. 

Being a true ally is a state of mind. It is being proactive, brave, uncompromising, and not being afraid to use your voice. Even though you can’t walk in their shoes, you can acknowledge the difficult road the marginalized had to travel. You can support them and stand up for them when their world is being carelessly tossed around by the privileged few.

I know I can’t fight discrimination everywhere or call out every bad joke. But, I can be an ally to my LGBTQ+ friends and wipe the happy tears off their cheeks when section 377 was abrogated in India. I can listen to them and understand them while they know that they will not be judged for anything they say.  

I can’t be sure where my journey to be a better ally will lead, but it’s definitely a path that will change me for the better.

9 Actionable Ways to Kick Off Your Diversity Recruiting Efforts

Diversity consciousness in the corporate world has come a long way. In recent history, countries have had laws in place that actually protected the rights of employers to not hire people from different backgrounds. 

The definitions of diversity have also evolved. What was once limited to race and sex has been expanded to physical ableness, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, native language, economic background, and much more. 

Real inclusion or splashy PR?

Celebrating diversity (at least on the surface) is a part of today’s company culture. From celebrating gay pride month to publishing internal diversity reports, many organizations across the world claim diversity as a core value.

But splashy PR efforts and real commitment to diversity are two different things. 

The first place where you can tell if a company is serious about diversity is to see how they recruit and hire. 

What is diversity recruiting and hiring?

Diversity recruitment happens when organizations put emphasis on hiring from a diverse pool of candidates and have procedures in place to make decisions free from bias based on age, sexuality, gender, religion and other characteristics that are unrelated to the job seeker’s performance.

Most organizations assume you should hire the most qualified candidate. While this may seem like the right thing to do, it will not help your team, as a whole, in the long run. Think of it like choosing a software stack for your company. What may be the best solution for each individual problem may not leave you with the right overall software stack. As Melissa and Jonathan Nightingale say, it’s not about hiring the best person, but building the best team. 

Why diversity recruiting should be your top priority

Building a diverse culture is a lot more important than compliance or just being able to say, “We are an equal opportunity employer.” It’s not just an item to be checked off on your list. It’s a mentality that needs to be ingrained in your organization’s psyche.

Diverse teams consistently outperform homogeneous groups. Each person in a diverse team has been exposed to radically different ideas and has a wide range of experience and skills. When surrounded by people who are similar in one or more ways, it’s easy to slip into groupthink and not question things. But when a team is made of people who bring a variety of perspectives and insights, they think harder about their decisions, leading to better decisions.

9 tips to better diversity recruiting

Talent acquisition teams are becoming more and more sensitive to diversity hiring. In a study by Ideal, 57 percent of respondents said they have a recruiting strategy in place to attract diverse talent. You could start with something as simple as changing the language you use in your job posting. Every step you take toward diversity recruiting is one step closer to a more diverse workforce. 

Here are a few things you can start doing right now to help you with your recruitment process:

Tweak your policies 

Start by creating a company culture that promotes diversity and inclusion. Where might you be able to change your policies to demonstrate more open-mindedness? Gender-neutral restrooms? Private nursing areas? Flexible time off for religious holidays? 

You will likely not be able to spot all the issues with your current policies. Instead, ask people from different groups to look over them and point out areas you can improve. 

Also, don’t create a separate section of your handbook that says, “These are policies about diversity.” That makes it seem like you view it as a separate problem. Having nursing areas and respecting other religions are just part of working, not a quarantined-off section that is just for diversity. 

Establish key metrics

Once you’ve reviewed your policies, you need to decide on key metrics that reflect your diversity hiring goals and to evaluate if your strategies were successful. The overall minority representation (especially in leadership roles), the number of diverse candidates recruited, their retention rate, and pay disparity are a good place to start. 

Having actual numbers in place is a good way to judge how effective you were at your efforts. But remember Goodhart’s Law: as soon as you focus on achieving a particular metric, it no longer becomes a valid metric. 

The goal is a more diverse and inclusive space. Numbers can be a good indicator of that, but they are only a proxy. If you only chase the numbers, you will often miss out on the bigger goal. 

Widen your talent pool

Employee referrals are the top source of potential candidates. However, if your employee base is pretty homogeneous, your referral network is likely the same. When your talent pool looks exactly like your existing workforce, you don’t have much hope of becoming more diverse organically. 

Companies need to actively seek and hire candidates from different sources. There is usually some representation of the marginalized community in an applicant pool, but you want to increase the numbers. Try recruiting at colleges with a diverse mix of students and posting to unique job boards dedicated to a marginalized group. 

Let candidates know you value diversity

A diverse workplace is one of the key things millennial candidates look for when considering a job offer. You want to be public about your commitment to diversity, without making people think you are pursuing them out of a sense of tokenism. You must find a balance between the indirect, “We think you have a unique perspective,” and the direct, “We really want to have a gay Latino man on this project to help us think through everything.”

Most of this is accomplished by being genuine and humble, and always willing to listen and be corrected. 

Work against your natural biases

Resumes with ‘white’ sounding names receive 30% more callbacks than other ethnicities.

The first step to moving beyond biases is to admit that you have them. You can’t make it to 21 without having some firm impressions about groups of people–some you’ve met, and many you haven’t. 

Being honest about stereotypes and speaking them can be powerful to externalize them and then you can work against them. Imagine looking at two resumes, one belongs to a young black woman from Mississippi State and the other belongs to a white male from Stanford. Acknowledging the natural biases that you have openly with others can be a great way to disarm the situation rather than trying to skirt around the elephant in the room.  

Experiment with blind screening 

There was an experiment conducted by Stanford where the same resume but with different names was handed to a number of scientists. The “male” was perceived to be more competent despite every other piece of information on the resume was identical, indicating an implicit gender bias. Try to redact the names and photographs on resumes and proceed with the usual screening process. 

While these are some common biases, there are many hidden ones such as the names of the universities and former companies. Relying on these signals is being complicit in systemic systems that keep marginalized people out of these places.

Find a way to assess abilities that don’t necessarily have to do with these factors. Alternatively, you can use technology to automatically screen candidates to help you succeed in your diversity recruiting strategies.

Have a diverse interview panel

When your hiring managers are diverse themselves, they bring a variety of viewpoints and perspectives. This balanced panel brings out unique exchanges and makes the candidate feel more comfortable and perform better. 

After requiring at least two women or members of underrepresented communities in their panel for any new hire, Intel saw a 41 percent rise in women and employees of color in just two years. 

However, this alone doesn’t fix things. You can’t just add a Japanese man to the hiring team and then claim that all hiring decisions are anti-discriminatory. 

Consider offering remote work

Opening the doors to remote work automatically exposes to candidates from hard Siberian ice to sunny Florida beaches. If you don’t have a culture of remote employees, start with one team and experiment with policies and tracking results. Mike Knoop from Zapier says, “It’s very difficult to add one or two people remote because the culture of the office is not often set up to support it. The best thing to do here is really taking a bigger stake than just one person.” 

Bring underprivileged people to leadership roles

It’s not enough to just focus on entry-level recruiting. If all you are doing is adding diverse people to the bottom of your organization, it may be decades before they take on senior leadership roles (if they last in your culture) and bring about a balance in power. You need to think about inserting people at high levels, bringing in diverse consultants and agencies, and bringing on diverse board members.

Toward a more inclusive workplace

Diversity recruiting and hiring is a good beginning, but you can’t stop there. Just because you hire diverse people doesn’t mean they will feel welcome and stay. If the atmosphere is toxic and you don’t prepare others for a more diverse workforce, your new hires may leave, and those from the majority culture who stay get to add the word ‘uncommitted’ to their stereotypes. 

Have the diversity discussion with everyone in your company long before you start bringing people in. 

Diverse candidates bring a broader skillset and experience, increase cultural awareness, and are a perpetual source of diverse talent pools. Taking the first step towards diversity hiring can lead you to starting a more inclusive workplace

If you have more tips or have a story to share, tweet to us @workminus. We’d love to hear your thoughts.