Google spends years figuring out that the secret to a good working environment is just to be nice

Google spends years figuring out that the secret to a good working environment is just to be nice

Reported by: Indepedent

Four years ago, Google set out on a mission to work out how it could transform productivity in its team.

Project Aristotle, started in 2012, studied hundreds of teams at Google to try and figure out the secret to their success.

Google works hard to keep employees happy and motivated. It already offers free lunches, massage rooms, nap pods, haircuts, and doctors. Google spends money to help new parents and offers them time off to look after their baby. Employees get paid-for courses, free legal advice, free bikes, and even space in the company garden to grow vegetables.

Then, Google being Google, measures every scrap of data from these perks.

Laszlo Bock, who heads Google’s People Operations Department, told CBS: “We try to bring as much analytics and data and science to what we do on the people side as our engineers do on the product side.”

Bock has data that shows that if the manager greets a new recruit on their first day, that recruit is 15 percent more productive in nine months’ time.

But a year into their research, the people behind Project Aristotle were stumped. Besides all the perks, they had identified some important factors that made group work more effective, but their data didn’t offer a clear view of which was the most important, or a consensus on how to organize a group for best results.

They came across a study that found that successful teams had high “average social sensitivity” – which means group members were good at gauging how others felt based on their tone of voice or expression. Another way of referring to this in psychology is psychological safety.

Amy Edmondson, a Harvard Business School professor, defines psychological safety as a “a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up”.

In an article for the New York Times, Charles Duhigg told the story of a Google executive who volunteered to try out some of Project Aristotle’s findings.

When he discovered his team wasn’t as happy and productive as he thought they were, he took them offsite and made a huge personal confession: he had stage four cancer. After a stunned silence, other members of the group started to talk about their own personal issues.

Although Project Aristotle hadn’t advocated making personal revelations, the Google exec realized that to create psychological safety in his team, he needed them to bond.

By trying to maximize productivity using data, Google realized that psychological safety, or the security form ties and talk about feelings, was the most important factor.

They had stumbled on the key to building a successful team: just be nice.

These Are the Benefits Women Actually Want at Work

These Are the Benefits Women Actually Want at Work

Do you wonder what benefits really resonate with women? It isn’t really rocket science, in fact, it is mostly about equality and flexibility.

If you would like a complimentary consultant please reach out today. We would love to post your job posting on our Women in Biz Network Diversity-Driven Career Board. 


two women sitting on leather chairs in front of table

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

It’s the age-old debate: what do women really want?

Or it was the debate, rather. Women aren’t exactly shy these days about voicing what it is they want, at home, in politics, and perhaps most especially in the workplace. But then, shyness was never really the issue — being heard was, and heard free from the potential for bias or stigma. Despite progress that’s been made in this arena, especially in the months following #MeToo, the possibility of being stigmatized for voicing one’s wants and experiences still too-often persists for one group in particular: female jobseekers.

1. Equal Pay

Simone de Beauvoir may have nailed it in “The Second Sex” — there is no women’s empowerment without women’s economic empowerment.

That famed treatise was published nearly seven decades ago, and yet, women still struggle to be financially valued at the same rate as men. The gender pay gap persists, with white women bringing in 85 cents, Black women 63 cents, and Latina women just 54 cents to the white man’s dollar in 2017, and we see equally stark pay disparities within the glittering gates of Hollywood. If the gap is ever truly going to be closed, greater corporate transparency and equality-ensuring measures are essential. Some companies, like Squarespace, have begun answering that call by publishing employees’ salary information, and others, like Amazon, have outlawed asking for candidates’ salary history in interviews.

If your employer is behind the times on promoting pay equality, it’s worth checking out Fairygodboss’ salary database, crowdsourced from users. If you determine you aren’t being paid at a rate that’s comparable to your male peers, there are some steps you can take, like talking to your boss — or finding a new job at a company that’s known for actually treating women fairly. Fairygodboss’ jobs board is full of openings at companies women love.

2. Flexibility

Your reputation as an inclusive, women-friendly employer won’t go far these days without offering the highly sought-after benefit of flexibility. For women, flexibility has been proven to correlate to higher levels of ambition — one 2013 survey from Catalyst found that having access to flexible work arrangements led to a 31% increase in women’s likeliness to aspire to senior executive- or CEO-level positions. And flexibility helps employers, too — other studies have shown that flexible workers are happier, more productive, and less likely to burn out, leading to lower turnover rates.

Flexibility can be incorporated to varying degrees — at some workplaces, employees can take advantage of fully built-out “flex time” policies, while at others, it simply means not having to sweat taking the afternoon off for a doctor’s appointment. To get the specifics on which employers offer flexible perks like part-time and telecommuting positions, check out Fairygodboss’ Work-Life Balance & Flexibility Guide.

3. Paid Parental Leave — for Both Parents

More than 75% of expecting moms report being excited to return to work — and yet, 43% end up leaving their jobs, according to research discussed in a recent webinar with Fairygodboss and Maven Clinic.

The factors behind this alarming statistic are manifold, but one thing is clear: companies must do a better job of supporting employees, of all genders, in their desire to start a family. And the most obvious place to start is by incorporating better, longer, and paid parental leave policies — something the United States as a whole is frightfully behind on. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis, the U.S. is the only developed country in the world to not offer mandatory paid parental leave. Only 12% of U.S. workers have access to paid leave, and for those who do have access to it, the amount offered is often insufficient to the point of forcing women back to work before they or their child are ready.

A growing number of companies are taking it into their own hands to do right by mothers, though, like Deloitte, which recently expanded its leave policy to include 16 fully paid weeks for men and women to care for relatives. One Deloitte employee and Fairygodboss user applauded the company for its “excellent maternity leave,” writing in her review that “when returning (to work), you aren’t penalized,” while another said the firm is good at “providing new moms with the flexibility to dial down and spend more time with your kids as needed.”

Beyond reading user reviews of company policies, you can also easily compare parental leave perks through Fairygodboss’ maternity leave database.

4. Paid Sick Leave

Most of us have had at some point worked for an employer where taking the day off for an illness was not looked kindly upon. #ProTip for companies hoping to attract and retain women — don’t be that employer.

Offering paid sick leave (something else the U.S. is behind on compared to other developed countries) shows that employees’ wellness is a true priority at a company. And while there may be punchier ways of imparting the same message — like, say, on-site yoga classes — the cornerstone of promoting employees’ health is giving them the knowledge they won’t be financially punished if they or a child get sick. Paid sick leave is also something that stands out favorably to female jobseekers, in particular, many of whom still make up the bulk of America’s primary caretakers. As Fairygodboss users have testified to time and again, a company where women feel that not only they, but their family is supported is a company women are likely to stay at.

5. Professional Development Opportunities

What does impress female jobseekers much? The knowledge that their gender isn’t seen as a barrier to getting promoted at a company.

“Professional development” may feel like a buzzword nowadays, but its impact is anything but ephemeral. Women need mentors, and they need to be shown examples of career paths where women like them have seen success in advancing. Companies can make this a reality by offering female employees designated mentors and sponsorship initiatives, like IBM has done through its Pathways Program, a multi-faceted initiative that pairs mid-career technical women with career development resources like executive coaches, sponsors, workshops and learning labs.

It’s this kind of emphasis on female talent advancement that no doubt leads women at IBM to leave such glowing reviews on Fairygodboss; one user wrote that at IBM, she had “the opportunity to reinvent myself over and over again with the endless support and encouragement,” while another noted that the tech giant “encourages skills development & growth opportunities across the organization, and for employees to design their career path.”


(Content courtesy of Ellevate) 

7 reasons why you should include a salary range in your job postings

7 reasons why you should include a salary range in your job postings

A question we often asked at Bee Happy HR – Your Diverse Talent Hive is whether you should post salary ranges on job postings. Our answer is almost always yes. If you would like a complimentary consultant reach out today. We would love to post your job posting on our Women in Biz Network Diversity-Driven Career Board. 


smiling woman

The question of whether or not to disclose salaries in job ads is one that generally sparks much debate. It’s a contentious issue. Naysayers will often talk about how it can weaken negotiating abilities or give competitors a gratuitous glance at your rates of pay. Mitigating current employee jealousy also gets bandied about when salary ranges are discussed. While these are factors to consider, it’s also worth looking at the other side of the coin. The benefits may far outweigh the shortcomings…

1. It’s one of the first things job seekers look for

According to SHRM, when looking at a job posting, compensation and benefits are the primary things that most candidates are looking for. It is a motivating factor and one that shouldn’t be easily ignored.

In fact, LinkedIn has said that 70% of professionals will want to hear about salary in the first message from a recruiter. So cut out the middleman and include it in the job posting. It’ll save you time while simultaneously giving vital information to potentially interested candidates.

2. Candidates will try to find out anyway

Whether it’s the first thing they ask or if they do their own sleuthing on sites like Glassdoor or, candidates want to know what kind of salary to expect. And a lot of the information is out there anyway. Concealing compensation from candidates is all smokescreen – in the end, every potential employee has to be offered something. Be up-front and show transparency. Remember, salary is important but isn’t always the deciding factor.

3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Transparency across all company policies, behaviour, and performance is becoming of increasing importance in any business. Whether it’s in terms of impact to the environment, treatment of staff, diversity, etc., the corporate veil is being quickly tugged down. One way to ensure that your organization is on a committed path to equality and fairness is to disclose salary ranges. It is a very powerful action that illustrates how your company isn’t interested in dangerous mystique. Our resident job postings expert Katrina Kibben believes that pay transparency is a ‘trust builder’ and keeping them secret creates emotional liability.

4. Millennials want it that way

In Jennifer Deal’s hugely successful book ‘What Millennials Want From Work’, she found that:

Millennials are most likely to discuss their compensation with their parents (71%) or their friends (47%). In comparison, older staff are substantially less likely to discuss their compensation with co-workers (19%), friends (24%) or parents (31%).”

Openness about finance is a deep-rooted trend among this cohort. And considering the fact that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, it is perhaps worth thinking about this in terms of how to attract them. If salary ranges appeal to this generation then it makes sense to include them in job postings.

5.) Candidates don’t often leave jobs to be paid at the same level

According to the 2020 Compensation Best Practices Report by Payscale, one of the major reasons why employees leave companies is for a higher salary. It’s important to understand that salary history does not give you a guide as to how much a candidate is worth. Maybe their most recent salary was $35,000, but it’s been that figure for the past 4 years due to a pay freeze within the organization. Does that mean that the candidate is going to be willing to accept a salary of $36,000 with your company? Maybe not. Upfront details about what a position is worth will encourage applications from strong, dedicated candidates.

6. It is becoming more normalized

One of the greatest barriers to including a salary scale on job postings is tradition. Legacy has a LOT to answer for when it comes to certain hiring practices. Required years of experience, particular college degrees, and many more ultimately irrelevant requirements. So when it comes to job postings, companies often have a set way of operating which might be incorrect. Thankfully, change is on the horizon and many companies are already embracing the benefits of transparency. GlitchBasecamp, and Buffer have all very publicly bucked the trend – it’s even becoming law in some states in America.

7. Standing out from the pack

It’s understandable that some companies would be hesitant to include a salary range in their job postings. Smaller or niche businesses may not be able to compete with the larger enterprises and don’t want to seem like a secondary tier. And, while money is of course a big motivator for job seekers, it isn’t always the primary impetus. Non-cash benefits like superior cultures and remote opportunities can also sway opinion. But, the transparency and ease that including a salary range affords cannot be overlooked. At the end of the day a candidate will only accept what they’re worth, so why deceive?



Should I connect with my competitors on LinkedIn?

Should I connect with my competitors on LinkedIn?

(Advice from INC magazine)

LinkedIn is giving its users bad advice.

Especially if you want to generate more business or discover new sales opportunities using the platform.

Here’s the rub: By suggesting users only connect with people they already know, LinkedIn is actually doing the opposite of what makes the platform so powerful – the depth and breadth of your connection list.

Put simply, the more people you are connected to on LinkedIn, the more visibility and reach you have on the platform.

Show Up and Stand Out

Here’s just one example: With 433 million members in 200 countries, LinkedIn has one of the planet’s most powerful internal search engines.

And the more people you’re connected to on LinkedIn, the better chance your profile has of showing up high on searches related to the products or services you provide.

Think about it this way: If a Small Business Owner (let’s call him “John Doe”) hops on LinkedIn because he need to find a CPA in Chicago, John is likely to type “CPA Chicago” into the LinkedIn Search bar to see what results come up.

If you’re a CPA in Chicago, having those keywords (“CPA” and “Chicago”) in your LinkedIn headline, summary and profile sections tells LinkedIn’s Search Engine that your profile is a relevant result for John’s search.

However, LinkedIn will give preference to 1st and 2nd degree connections of John Doe, because in LinkedIn’s mind someone that John Doe knows (meaning a 1st or 2nd degree connection) is going to be more relevant.

So LinkedIn filters John Doe’s “CPA Chicago” search result in this order:

  • Do any of John Doe’s 1st degree connections have those keywords (“CPA” and “Chicago”) in their profile?
  • Do any of John Doe’s 2nd degree connections have those keywords in their profile?
  • Do any of John Doe’s 3rd degree connections and everyone else have those keywords in their profile?

See how this works?

The more people you’re connected to (especially other Small Business Owners in Chicago), the better chance you have of showing up on the first or second page of search results that John Doe sees when looking for a CPA in Chicago.

And keep in mind, this is just one example of the power of your network’s depth and breadth on LinkedIn. There are many others (such as publishing content on LinkedIn or appearing in the news feed of your connections with status updates, comments, likes, shares, etc.) that I don’t have time to dive into here.

Who Should You Connect With on LinkedIn

So unless the person inviting you to connect is an obvious spammer, you should accept his or her invite.

More important, you should be proactively searching for and connecting with key prospects in your niche or industry.

Long story short, the more people you are connected to on LinkedIn, the better.

And, lest you fret, you can adjust your user settings to “protect” your connections so that nobody else can see or access them (even your 1st degree connections), along with your personal email, phone and so on.

Go ahead and connect with your competitors, too – they can see everything you’re doing on LinkedIn anyway. In addition, being part of a competitor’s LinkedIn network means now all of his or her customers are one step closer (as 2nd level connections) to getting to know you.


Are you experiencing workplace trauma?

Are you experiencing workplace trauma?

I wish Horrible Bosses was only a movie, that being overworked or asked to do things you’re uncomfortable with was only a bad dream, that you didn’t have to choose between your child’s education and your employer’s unwavering expectations at work, and that all employees in similar roles were paid equally, regardless of race, gender or religion. I’m sad to say, in speaking to many of you, these situations are still far more common than they should be.

Workplace trauma is real. You might think that it would be on the decline as we’ve moved primarily remote workplaces, but the stats say otherwise, as the boundaries between work and home life have become more blurred. Employees are scared to lose their jobs in a challenging job search market, or they are burning the candle at both ends, trying to appease an employer that has no sympathy for their current situations.

There’s no easy answer, but here are some things that can help:

  1. Seek mental health help. Find a therapist you can discuss your situation is an affordable option, allowing you to even text with your therapist exactly when you need it.
  2. Record everything. Keep a record any time you experience discrimination or unjust treatment. You can present your case to HR if you’re comfortable, hire a lawyer or file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
  3. Build a support system. Tell a trusted group of friends or turn to a private professional networking group that can offer guidance and support, like our private tellent Facebook Group.
  4. Take a leave. Take a job protected leave of absence. This is a totally acceptable option. Some provinces in Canada are offering a caregiver benefit that allows you to claim a monetary benefit if you have to take a leave from work to care for a child or other dependent. If you can’t manage things as they are, take some time so you can look at the situation from a fresh perspective. Is your job salvageable? Do you have to stay in a holding pattern until the rest of your life becomes more manageable? Is it time to move on?
  5. Create an exit plan. I know looking for a new job can feel so taxing in itself. If the workplace situation you are experiencing is relatively new, there may be something that can be done to fix the issues. If it’s been happening for some time, it’s time to plan your escape. If it’s absolutely toxic, get professional advice on how to get the heck out.

Obviously, this topic is so nuanced and complex, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Know that that are some things you can do to alleviate the stress of your situation. There are fair and just employers out there. There are options. There is hope. You aren’t alone.

Guest Post By Jennifer Hargreaves is the Founder and CEO of tellent.

tellent is a diversity recruitment and social impact company striving to close the talent gap in the new work economy. We work with women seeking flexible work and businesses to make work, work better for everyone.

Jennifer’s professional experience spans three continents across brand strategy and international market development. While her primary school teachers didn’t appreciate her questions challenging “why”, she now embraces that curiosity and the perspective that comes with challenging the status quo to create impactful and lasting change.

Get in touch with her at

Procrastinate Much? Your Mental Makeup is Responsible + Tips to Succeed

Procrastinate Much? Your Mental Makeup is Responsible + Tips to Succeed

Content Source

Does this sound like you?

  • You are used to waiting until the last minute to complete a task, explaining, “I work best under pressure.”
  • You take care of unnecessary and unimportant tasks to avoid taking care of bigger ones.
  • You wait to start a task, telling yourself later would be better – you need to research, prepare, and plan before beginning. However, you never actually reach the point where you are ready to begin.
  • You mentally – and sometimes actually – create scenarios where it is impossible to complete a task. For example, you want to find a better job, but think about how you have put so much into your current job, and, after all, maybe things will get better.
  • You are caught looking at your past. You dwell on past failures or keep analyzing what you have done in your past life and never get as far as completing a current task.

Procrastinators often make an undesirable task so complicated, it becomes almost impossible to complete.

Reluctance to Make a Decision

Seeking Perfection


Procrastinators often set themselves up for failure by setting up roadblocks that prevent success.


Suggestions we provide will work for everyone. We have included those deemed most successful by those who have managed to stop procrastinating. Additionally, some of our suggestions come from mental health experts who have worked with procrastinators whose problem was so debilitating they sought professional help.

  • Let Others Know You Plan to Complete a Task

Telling others about your plans to complete a task adds accountability. Family, friends, and others will ask how the completion of your task is going whenever they see you. The possibility of embarrassment when you must confess you have not yet begun your task can be a powerful motivator.

  • Decide on the Process You Will Use to Stop Procrastinating

Read our list of ways to stop procrastinating and choose whichever you believe will work for you.  If you are not successful, try a different one. Sometimes it works to combine more than one method.

  • Write Down the Reasons You Procrastinate

Review the section on the personality traits of procrastinators and decide which of those mentioned apply to you. Doing so will help when you map out a personal process for change. You cannot change your behavior unless you understand the reasons behind it. Here are some possible reasons for your procrastination. You may have one, a few, or, if you have been procrastinating for a long time, all of them:

  • Poor physical or mental health
  • Fear of failure
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Insufficient ability to complete a chosen task
  • Unrealistic expectations


Methods for Breaking the Procrastination Cycle

Again, not all of these methods work for every individual. You may that one even contributes to your procrastination, for example, making a list is as far as you ever get as you perceive the job as completed once it is listed.

  • Prioritize Tasks

Make sure you are concentrating on getting the right things done. Yes, there is always more to do, but do not think about that, instead, decide what you really need to do.  Make a list and then number the items in order of importance. Work through your list in numerical order.

  • Create a Timeline for Large Tasks

Large tasks often seem impossible to complete, especially for a procrastinator. Break your large task into shorter chunks and then set up a timeline for completion. Set specific dates for completing each chunk of the task.

  • Make a To Do List

Design your to-do list to meet your individual needs. Some people do well only listing items usually avoided, and excluding tasks done every day. Others list everything, as they get a feeling of accomplishment by crossing off items. You may like dividing tasks into groups using time, the similarity of tasks, or days of the week.

  • Eliminate Opportunities to Procrastinate

Get rid of distractions. Turn off the TV, do not answer the phone, and if you are tempted by Facebook or email updates, turn off the automatic notification options.  Some people set up a special place for working on tasks – a designated room, computer, or location – in which they only work on tasks needing completion.

  • Break the Task into Manageable Segments

Procrastination frequently occurs when a task seems just too overwhelming to begin. For example, writing a book seems daunting. However, breaking the task down into steps, such as creating an outline, writing the rough draft one chapter at a time, and revision (after the book is completed!), makes the task more manageable.

  • Create Rewards and Punishments

Reward yourself at milestones on a long task. Take a break and allow yourself to solve a puzzle or read a chapter of a book after an hour of uninterrupted work.  Use larger rewards at the end of completing a large task or at the end of a week of productive work, such as a night out with friends. Establish some consequences if you avoid a task. For example, if you do not exercise three times a week, you cannot shop for new clothing.

  • Delegate Some Tasks

Determine if there are parts of a task that you can delegate.  Family members are capable of completing many routine tasks, freeing you to complete a larger, more complicated task. See if someone else may be able to accomplish part of the task, i.e. having what you write proofread by someone else instead of doing it yourself.

  • Choose a Productive Environment or Workspace for Completing a Task

Examine your work area. Make sure you have the necessary tools to complete your task. Your work area should be well lit, with comfortable seating. However, make sure you are not so comfortable you find yourself relaxing instead of working.  It may also be necessary to change the arrangement of your workspace if it becomes less conducive to work after some time.

  • Begin the Task
  • Be around productive people and pattern your life after the things they do to achieve success, especially in those areas in which you tend to procrastinate.
  • Continually clarify your goals. You will never get there if you do not know where you want to go.
  • Do not compare yourself or your ability to others. You can always find someone more creative, faster, smarter, or better able to complete whatever task you set for yourself.
  • Take action. If you cannot tackle the big task, go for the small ones. Get something done each day – something you can feel good about accomplishing.
  • Quit making excuses. You may think you have valid reasons for delaying a task, but learn to be honest with yourself when you procrastinate.
  • If necessary, go to the doctor to remove any physical or psychological reason for your procrastination. Poor health can impede the best efforts.

Do not give up. With time and effort, you can overcome the habit of procrastination and lead a happier, healthier, more productive life.