Human Resources: Workaholism vs. So-Called Millennial Attitudes

Stereotypes are often unfair.

There’ve been lots of talk and studies about the challenges associated with Millennials in the workforce – that they’re self-absorbed, want to start at the top and that they lack a strong work ethic.

Often that’s true. But not always. It’s also true that Millennials have a common-sense approach to work-family balance.

woman smilingWorkaholics place too much emphasis on work – it interferes with their personal happiness, health and relationships.

So, here’s the conundrum: Workaholics are most-likely an organization’s most-productive employees. They’re the most-reliable at crunch time.

However, they’re also the most abused by obsessive managers. Workaholics aren’t given opportunities to re-charge their physical and emotional batteries.

Burnout is an occupational hazard. So are stress and psychosomatic illnesses or even heart attacks or strokes.

Workaholism study

All of that’s in the findings of a study on workaholism by a University of Georgia (UGA) study, “All Work and No Play? A Meta-Analytic Examination of the Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism.”

Workaholics aren’t given opportunities to re-charge their physical and emotional batteries.

“Similar to other types of addictions, workaholics may feel a fleeting high or a rush when they’re at work, but quickly become overwhelmed by feelings of guilt or anxiety,” said Malissa Clark, Ph.D., an assistant professor of industrial/organizational psychology at UGA and lead author on the study.

“Looking at the motivations behind working, workaholics seem pushed to work not because they love it but because they feel internal pressure to work,” she added. This internal compulsion is similar to having an addiction.”

Dr. Clark’s co-authors include Jesse S. Michel, Florida International University; Ludmila Zhdanova, Carleton University; Shuang Y. Pui, Safeway Inc.; and Boris B. Baltes, Wayne State University.

Paying the price

Dr. Clark admits workaholism leads to promotions and helps career advancement.  But there is a heavy price to pay.

“Our results show that while unrelated to job performance, workaholism does influence other aspects like job stress, greater work-life conflict, decreased physical health and job burnout that indicate workers aren’t going to be productive,” she said.

“When you look more broadly at the outcomes that were overwhelmingly negative and compare those to other analyses of work engagement, which were overwhelmingly positive, we see that there are two very different constructs,” she said.

“One is feeling driven to work because of an internal compulsion, where there’s guilt if you’re not working – that’s workaholism,” she explained.

“The other feeling is wanting to work because you feel joy in work and that’s why you go to work every day, because you enjoy it,” she asserted. “And I say that is work engagement.”


Dr. Clark said workaholism is almost synonymous with perfectionism and type A personalities.

“We found that, for samples with a greater percentage of women, the relationship between age and workaholism was positive, meaning that older women were more likely to be workaholics than younger women,” the professor said.

“In samples that had more men, the relationship between age and workaholism is negative, meaning that older men were less likely to be workaholics than younger men.”

In conclusion, be a workaholic if you want. But you might pay a heavy price.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles:

10 Strategies to Overcome Stress and Energize Your Career — If job stress is slowing you down, you can jump start your career with these 10 reminders.

24 Tips to Reduce Stress, Work Happier for Top Performance — You have a 35 percent better chance of living longer if you feel happy. That’s the upshot from a 2011 British study that links feelings of happiness to longevity. So the emphasis is on feelings. Makes sense, right? The study acknowledges some people inherently feel happy.

30 Time Management, Stress Reducing Tips — Tips that will enable you to take bold measures to invest in your future and make money by saving time and reducing stress.

Proof Positive: How Supportive Spouses Help in Work-Related Stress — First, it was the book, “The Millionaire Mind.” The book by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley revealed several traits of millionaires. One important statistic from his study of millionaires: They were successful largely thanks to a supportive spouse.

Your Career Success is Determined by your Spouse’s Personality — Study — Your spouse’s attitude has an indirect, powerful impact on whether you succeed in your career. That’s the conclusion from an important study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis.

“You can’t afford not to take a vacation.”

-Mac Eadie


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism

Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

Check your attendance records. You’ll see Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

For good reason, employers often cringe because they distrust the reasons some employees call in sick. 

Absenteeism can be a real head slapper.

But it’s crucial to be open-minded and to consider the perspectives of your employees.

Absenteeism is a red flag that your employees aren’t fully engaged in their work.

They often feel a lack of support from management, and are frustrated with a lack of tools and resources that limit their performance.

This typically results in inefficiency or minimal productivity, high turnover, increased costs in sick pay and replacement employees, and customer dissatisfaction.

Further, high absenteeism is one of the five prime indicators that your workplace environment is toxic.

The other four indicators:

— Your employees aren’t recommending your company to their friends as a great place to work.

— Employees with the highest absenteeism usually lack friends among their coworkers.

— Workers don’t actively support your customer-service initiatives – usually because they don’t love their jobs.

— Your customers aren’t fans of your company, and customer feedback doesn’t meet your expectations.

Check your attendance records. You’ll see Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

Manage the problem

Here are 13 tips to manage absenteeism:

  1. Start by making sure your efforts don’t lead to legal problems. In this litigious society, it’s important to avoid EEOC discrimination suits.
  2. Train your managers. True, they need to know your legal obligations. But train them in employee engagement, and how to deal with disgruntled workers.
  3. Remember the phrase, “Let it begin with me.” It’s important to make certain that you’re perceived as an effective leader, not just a supervisor. Lead by a disciplined example. Be a leader, not a caretaking manager. Remember leaders continuously upgrade recruitment procedures.
  4. Evaluate your culture. It’s not easy to develop a culture in which everyone is on the same page. If profits are at stake, a cultural change is in order.
  5. Understand the root causes and the gravity of the problem. Is it with just one employee or is it widespread among your workers? Try to be patient with individuals. Personal problems are often factors, as are long commutes to work. Carefully recruit workers who live fairly close to the workplace.
  6. Incentivize fewer days off. It’s not always necessary to pay higher wages. Strangely, less-efficient workers take fewer breaks. So encourage them to take breaks and socialize with one another.
  7. Everyone needs a vacation to avoid stress and health problems. Create an annual leave policy and enforce it. That includes not allowing employees to cash out their vacations.
  8. Clearly indicate a policy that complies with FMLA. But you can legally take steps to make certain it isn’t abused, for example, require a doctor’s confirmation for any leave.
  9. Double-down on efforts for employee engagement. Listen to your staff. Let employees know you care about their welfare, and that you appreciate their dedication to the organization. You’ll generate more profits if you partner with your employees.
  10. Discuss operational costs – the link between their attendance and productivity. Explain how their roles affect the success of the organization – from teamwork and morale to customer satisfaction.
  11. Make work fun. Reduce boredom with job enrichment, rotation and cross training.
  12. Be flexible. Try to accommodate special requests or scheduling.
  13. Celebrate business successes with your team. It’s great for team-building.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these related links:

Small Business – Easy Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits. As you might guess, it’s a bigger quandary for business owners that don’t have enough cash flow for raises.

How You Can Eliminate Destructive Conflict for Better TeamworkFor better employee-team decision-making and higher performance, it’s true that constructive conflict works. Usually, the best ideas evolve when ideas are discussed and debated. But when employees fail to exercise self control and their egos get in the way, emotions flare and cliques are formed in the workplace. That’s destructive conflict.

Workplace Bullies May Hurt Retention of All Employees, Not Just VictimsVictims of workplace bullies are less likely to quit than employees who observe the abuse, according to a study by a Canadian university. The 2012 research implies a costly threat to an organization’s teamwork and productivity.

How Not to Worry about Keeping Your Top EmployeesIncreasingly, employers are worried about filling open slots and retaining their best workers, according to a 2012 survey of 526 human resources professionals. Sixty-one percent indicate they’re concerned about retention.

The leader follows in front.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

Photo courtesy of stockimages at

Are You Taking Hits in Business? Tips for a Morale Boost

If sales are discouraging and you feel like you’re on a treadmill going nowhere, it’s probably because you’re worried about the future. Trust me, you’re not alone.

The trick is taking baby steps and not worrying about the future results. Instead, focus on the positive. Business success and strong sales stem are made possible by enthusiasm, and an attitude of service and gratitude.

This means not focusing on the proverbial “results department.” That department door might not open. So only focus on footwork and simply knocking on the “results department door.” Imagine yourself knocking on one door and then moving quickly to knock on another.

ID-10063171 David Castillo DominiciDon’t wait for the doors to open because that’s what leads to despair. It’s true that a watched pot never boils.

Moreover, this is a good time to measure your progress – not your obstacles.

Consider the acronym, GO, an acronym for “gratitude” and “options”

By way of explanation, sometimes discouragement is so bad a businessperson obsesses about what’s not working instead of relishing what is working.

By focusing solely on the problems they become bigger. When that happens, it’s an endless cycle of despair. The person feels trapped.

Conversely, if a businessperson focuses on the positive, such an attitude of gratitude opens the person up to a childlike wonder and creates hope. Hope leads to options.

So, with hope, anything is possible. Know that for each problem – I prefer the word challenge – there are 10 possible solutions for options.

But how can you get gratitude and options?

First create hope for growth. Examine the progress you have made and start a gratitude list. Pat yourself on the back for any footwork. Start by asking yourself, “Where, how, when, why and with whom have I made progress?” Write or type your answers. No progress is too small to list.

Ask yourself these 10 sample questions:

  1. What networking events, lunches or meetings have I attended?
  2. What new acquaintances have I made?
  3. What recognition or positive comments have been made by others about me?
  4. What free publicity have I received either from my efforts or those of others?
  5. Have I created a new Web site or marketing collateral?
  6. Any new skills or knowledge?
  7. Have I attracted any new clients or retained old clients?
  8. Are there any companies or businesspersons indicating interest in my capabilities?
  9. Have I done any pro bono or volunteer work?
  10. Do I have a support system or mentor?

If you can’t give a positive answer to the 10 questions, then do what you have to do for the right answers. That’s just to get you started. Perhaps there are other pertinent questions you can ask.

Consider the acronym, GO, an acronym for “gratitude” and “options”

Now, it’s time for a new vision for growth, here’s how:

  1. Write out your vision plan. One page will do.
  2. Set goals for footwork – not results.
  3. Periodically, each day ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now, productive?” (Chances are it isn’t productive, so focus on what is.)
  4. Keep records of your baby steps.
  5. Honor your progress with gratitude and keep it going with affirmations.
  6. Stay in close contact with your support system.
  7. Get exercise, sleep and medical care when needed.
  8. Practice stewardship of your assets. Focus on cleanliness and organization.
  9. Focus on your favorite hobby and recreation.
  10. Ask clients for feedback. If a client complains, don’t get defensive just take notes. When you’re complimented, ask for referrals to two people who might also appreciate what you have to offer.
  11. Keep on practicing gratitude. Always hand write thank you notes — whenever someone considers buying from you or hiring you. In fact, in every e-mail, note, meeting or telephone conversation, remember 98 percent of the time a thank you and/or “please” is warranted.
  12. Keep in mind the adage, “What goes around comes around.” Try to listen more and avoid treating others as though they’re invisible, and you will be accorded greater respect.
  13. Keep smiling. A jovial Joe or Jane is an attraction to others.
  14. Look around for someone else to help. This will help you smile.
  15. As you succeed, carry this message to others.

As you go along and think of other pointers, add them to these suggestions.

Now, GO! Good luck!

From the Coach’s Corner, here are 30 Time Management, Stress Reducing Skills

“The best morale exist when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy.” 

-Dwight D. Eisenhower 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at 

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.