Show Notes: Episode 20 – Women Winning in the Workplace
January 15, 2018
Show Notes: Episode 21 – Aging in the Workplace
January 29, 2018

Click here for this episode’s show notes.

This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.

Susan  0:09 

Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we talk about embracing humanity in the workplace. I’m Susan White, a national HR consultant. With me is my good friend JoDee Curtis, owner of Purple Ink, and the author of the “JoyPowered®” workspace, which is the inspiration for this podcast series.

So, JoDee, today we’re going to talk about the implications that exist for individuals as they grow older at work and what it means for employers who are having employees working longer in life than ever before. So really, the topic is ageism. Do you read much or see much about ageism?

JoDee  0:45 

I definitely think it’s out there, and I have to admit, some of it, I think, borders on discrimination still, with regards to age.

Susan  0:54 

Aw.

JoDee  0:54 

Which is…

Susan  0:55 

Yeah.

JoDee  0:56 

…out there, but a lot of…lot of concepts that people hold in their heads about hiring people when they’re older.

Susan  1:04 

You know, sadly, I think you’re right, and I think it extends into the workplace for people who, maybe they started at a job early on and they put their head down, worked really hard, they looked up 30 years later, and people start to view them a little differently. So, you know, when we talk about ageism, the definition I would use would be the stereotypes attributed to people who are considered old. And of course, “old” is really in the eye of the beholder. Now, in the United States, there is an age limit. There’s the age limit, there’s a…there’s a number associated with “old,” and that is the age of 40. Based…I know, it makes me laugh, too, the further I get beyond 40. But it’s ADEA, which is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act that was passed in 1967. It was really passed to protect individuals aged 40 or older in the area of employment to help them not be discriminated against. So thinking of how many years ago that was, I remember back in 1967, I thought 40 was old, as well.

JoDee  2:06 

It is interesting that that is such a low number.

Susan  2:10 

Honestly. But, you know, let’s talk about some research that has been done on ageism, really, in the workplace. Dr. Michael North, who’s a researcher at Columbia University, did a research project that was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and one of their findings was that in developed countries, 60% of employees who are over the age of 50 believe that age discrimination is the biggest obstacle to their employment. Now, I know that you do HR consulting in a pretty broad spectrum, but have you worked with people inside organizations who felt that because of their age, they were not getting some of the same perks or breaks or opportunities as people younger than them?

JoDee  2:53 

Absolutely. I think there’s this stereotype about older workers and technology, maybe not being able to keep up with that. Definitely, this exists in the recruiting space, that many employers are hesitant to hire older workers. They’re afraid they won’t stay on as long, which is interesting and ironic, of course, because it’s the millennial generation who has much more of a stereotype of looking for new jobs and not staying in jobs very long. So even if you hired someone at the age of 50, or 55, even 60, they might stay longer than a 22 year old might stay. So it’s definitely out there.

Susan  3:44 

I…you know, honestly, I have seen it, both on the employer side, and I’ve seen the fear factor with it on the prospective employee side. On the employer side, I’ve been part of discussions where they were trying to decide maybe who to put into a management internal management training program. I’ve seen them thinking about who do we want to send to this leadership development course, and honestly, as they look at the employees, I’ve heard managers say, “Well, you know what, they’re really toward the end of their career. Is this really somebody that would be interested in doing this?” I’ve heard the expression, you know, “their runway’s really short.”

JoDee  4:17 

Ohh.

Susan  4:18 

I know. And so you can imagine, I’m in those discussions, I’m like, “Stop. Age has nothing to do with this.” And I really, then I think people get kind of quiet and they nod, “Of course, of course.” But I wonder what’s going on, you know, behind…behind that face. Now, on the prospective employee side, I’ve done a lot of career coaching and when I do get a career coaching client that is over the age of, let’s say, 50, they’ll say, you know, “Susan, how hard is it?” You know, I…is someone gonna really want to hire a 58 year old woman or a 58 year old man for this position? And of course, I say, you know, we don’t know what…we never know what’s in the eyes or the minds of prospective employers. You need to bring your A game. You…it’s not an issue in my mind, there…and most companies are going to be sly or or covert if it’s an issue in the hiring manager’s mind, and we can’t control that. What we can control is you making sure that you tell your story and how you bring the skills and requirements necessary for that particular role.

JoDee  5:18 

Right. And obviously, that experience can be such a benefit for a future employer, to bring someone on who has that wisdom and experiences and maybe even had some failures that…of course, they’ve had some failures along the way that they have learned from, as well, too.

Susan  5:40 

I once had a manager say, “I would much rather hire somebody who has had some failures, because they went through an on the job training that we may not be able to recreate.” In fact, we don’t really want to recreate that, but they have learned from it. So taking somebody who’s seasoned and has made some, you know, stumbles along the way is so much better than hiring somebody green, perhaps, who’s never experienced any conflict or any type of problem.

JoDee  6:05 

Right. You see so many more people these days, too, Susan, who are starting new second careers. Right? Who maybe have…have gone back to school or gotten a certification or are just starting a whole new role in a new industry or new area that they haven’t done before, that they’re excited and they’re energized and they’re ready to spend some…many years in…in re-energizing their career.

Susan  6:40 

My husband went back to school when he was 50 to get his master’s in construction management. He had been an architect and project manager. And I will tell you that now he’s been teaching construction management for the last nine years and I want him to teach another 20. So I keep reminding him, “you’re going to be teaching for a very long time,” but he loves it. It really, as you say, a very energizing encore career.

JoDee  7:03 

Right.

Susan  7:04 

So, you know, I…you talked about some misconceptions, and I think that’s probably the root of most discrimination, is that people get locked in their head ideas, stereotypes about people based on how they look or where they’re from or, in this case, how old they are. Well, Pew Charitable Trusts did an economic mobility project that refuted many of the more common age-related stereotypes, and specifically, they cited misconceptions about older workers, including that older workers are thought to be resistant to change. Older workers’ job performance suffers as they get older, people don’t perform as well at what they do. Thirdly, older workers are less innovative. And then fourth is outdated skills. Kind of goes back to the technology. And they’re…and that they’re less reliable because of old old age aches and pains and things like that. So this study, I thought, was really good, because they took each one of these misconceptions and they actually did pull data and statistics to show how older workers are not resistant to change. You might have that old curmudgeon somewhere sitting in office, but that is not the norm. Employees are adaptable, and they…older employees do want to keep learning and that their performance, as you say, based on their experiences, are often better or the best performers. And they are innovative, and they do come up with creative ideas. And then about reliability, it’s not that they’re out because of aches and pains. They are more likely more dependable to be at the workplace each day and every day. You know, any other misconceptions you’ve heard or you’ve seen, JoDee, in the workplace?

JoDee  8:36 

Well, I think that one of the big ones that I’m surprised didn’t come out in their study that I mentioned earlier, is just that they won’t be around as long, or you mentioned the “short runway” approach. But when I listen to your thoughts there, Susan, I’m 53 and I think I’m open to change, a good performer, innovative, and have up to date skills, so this definitely must be a true study.

Susan  9:03 

I agree. You are all of those things and more. So, you know, I thought as we were preparing for today’s podcast, you know, why is it important for our listeners to confront ageism and ensure it doesn’t take root in their workplaces? And I really do believe that as an employer, it is your responsibility to…common types of discrimination that takes place…kind of like sexual harassment. If you don’t have a firm policy, a firm approach, and if you don’t take it very seriously, bad things happen. Well, the same thing with ageism. If you don’t have a very intentional approach that age is not a factor in your selection of people, your promotion of people, how you treat people. If you don’t really think about it, talk about it, it’s real easy for bad things to happen. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that by 2050, the 65 and older group of the labor force is expected to grow by 75%.

JoDee  10:00 

Wow.

Susan  10:01 

That’s huge. Whereas 25 to 54 year olds, that age group is only going to grow by 2%. And this is as percentage of the labor force. People are working longer, sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to, and this is really unprecedented in the history of the United States.

JoDee  10:19 

Well, and especially at the time when our unemployment rates are lower than they’ve ever been in many years, as well, too. People need to figure out a way…

Susan  10:29 

Yes, that’s right.

JoDee  10:30 

..to hire older workers specifically, because that is going to be a good part of their workforce.

Susan  10:37 

Absolutely. You know, it’s interesting, older workers or people, you know, over the age of 65, that we normally would have thought of as retirees. A 2013 Employee Benefit Research Institute survey found that 69% of workers expect to work during retirement, so post age 65, but in reality, only about 25% actually do. And there’s a lot of reasons for that. Sometimes it’s because they change their mind. But mostly, it’s because it is very difficult for an older person aged 65 or above to compete with younger workers. It may be that, because of their pay, they have worked up to a certain pay level in their life, and now they may be very willing to take lower pay, but employers are thinking that the person will get tired or bored and frustrated if they’re not earning what they were earning.

JoDee  11:29 

Right.

Susan  11:31 

410 employees were polled by Lee Hecht Harrison Penna in the United Kingdom in 2017, and those employees reported that the most common cause of workplace inequality, even ahead of gender, is age. So it’s…so people are feeling it, and I think it’s important that employers recognize it and start to do things about it.

JoDee  11:53 

Right. Not only, as you mentioned, out of necessity, they need to do it, but also, obviously, you also mentioned the Age Discrimination Act, you know, employers need to be careful that they’re making good decisions with regards to keeping people on and hiring new employees and thinking about what their approach to this is and how they can be fair and equitable to all.

Susan  12:23 

That’s right. So let’s…let’s do talk about, you know, how can businesses attract and retain mature talent? There was a SHRM Foundation report called “The Aging Workforce: Leveraging the Talents of Mature Employees,” that really encourages creating a workplace culture that embraces mature staff. They cited an AARP and SHRM 2013 research on what matters to 50 plus year old workers, and what they came up with…I’d be interested in how this resonates with you, JoDee. The things that they said really were important were flexibility. One of our favorite topics, right? Workplace flexibility, finances – usually as people age, they are concerned about money, more so perhaps than people earlier in their career, and about how they’re going to be prepared when they ultimately eventually do stop working. Insurance – they’re very concerned about health care insurance, certainly until age 65 when in the U.S., you’re eligible for Medicare. Retirement – really thinking through how can they have a quality retirement at that right time down the road. And then caregiving came up as very strong, because so often as people age, they may have very elderly parents or loved ones still around, or they may have a spouse who may need their caregiving.

JoDee  13:41 

Right. I love, again, the number one issue was flexibility, which we think of as such a stereotypical millennial need, and really, it is so important to employees of all ages to be able to have some options around that, especially based on your item number five, which is caregiving, right? They might need flexibility for different reasons or different purposes to do that, but it’s still important. And the insurance…I know I’ve heard so many people I’ve talked to where they need to work or they need a spouse to work or they need a certain kind of role because of being able to get health insurance. So it’s very important to people.

Susan  14:34 

Yeah, you know, I would think it’d be important to all people, but I do think that when you’re early 20s, mid 20s, it is not…you’re usually very well.

JoDee  14:41 

Right.

Susan  14:42 

And so it doesn’t seem to be as high a priority.

JoDee  14:44 

Right. Well, or sometimes you can get it for less expensive price when you’re younger, too.

Susan  14:50 

Yes.

JoDee  14:50 

So it becomes more important when you’re older because it might cost you more.

Susan  14:55 

Very good point. So let’s think about recruiting, you know, before 1967, before the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, it was not unusual that ads would be run, you know, asking for fresh college graduates interested in this or interested in that, or they would say things…yeah, they could…they would say things about age that they certainly could not say today. But what can we do as we’re trying to source the older candidate, as you said, the smart employer in this very tight job market is out there trying to figure out how to woo in people, non-traditional candidates, and maybe these are people who have retired from a full-time job and are now looking to do something a little more flexible. What are some things, perhaps, that you can do to attract older employees?

JoDee  15:44 

One of my favorites is rehiring your alums. I think that there is such an untapped market out there for companies to go back to…at…at any age, quite honestly, but maybe specifically for the older workers, to think about people who had worked with them before who were successful and left for any number of reasons at the time that might consider coming back. And I think that’s a very undervalued or under…underutilized tool, really, that companies track those people, keep in touch with those people, and not rethink about getting them back, because maybe 10 years ago, they left for a particular reason. That particular reason might be completely different.

Susan  16:41 

What I love about that is that you know about that alum’s reliability, you know, their skill set, and they’ve gone out, maybe worked somewhere else 10, 15 years, they’re gonna bring you back even more.

JoDee  16:52 

Right.

Susan  16:52 

What I’ve seen some companies do is that they’ll, for anyone that leaves them on good terms, that they will invite them to join maybe their Facebook group or their LinkedIn group, and so that they can stay in touch with through social media in a very easy, easy way. So I think that is an excellent idea.

JoDee  17:10 

Right. What other ones have you seen?

Susan  17:13 

Well, I think that, you know, unlike ever before, that there’s actually some very good websites that older Americans will go to who are looking for work. Some of the more popular ones is…AARP has a Life Reimagined for Work website, and they do quite a bit of work on talking about encore careers and really celebrating people who have kind of reinvented themselves post-retirement, so that, the AARP website, I think, is a wonderful place to go for you as an employer to post jobs. Another one is seniorjobsbank.org. And then, of course, there’s always Federal One Stop Career Centers. Another great idea is think about employee referral, and if you have done a nice job of bringing in some senior talent, they may know other senior talent out there, people that are older. Now, there may be that you’ve got younger employees, too, that know older people, but I would always want to keep it open, but sometimes tapping into people who have…are on their second career or third career, they may have people they can recommend to you. So I think employee referral’s a good source.

JoDee  18:22 

Right.

Susan  18:23 

I have loved some of the ads that I have seen. Do you remember the McDonald’s commercial where they had, you know, high schoolers, like, sweeping up, and next to them was like someone who looked like my grandmother. And you know, they…they really started to put into their advertisements pictures of older workers. And all of us want to work places where we think we will fit in, so I think that’s a very smart idea,

JoDee  18:47 

Right. I like that, too. Or one of my favorite movies, “The Intern.”

Susan  18:53 

Yes.

JoDee  18:53 

What a perfect example of someone who was looking for an opportunity to get back into a work environment and brought such needed value to the organization, that it was a fun way to encourage the use of hiring older workers.

Susan  19:15 

Absolutely. And I think he was like 71, but he ended up being Anne Hathaway’s mentor and coach as an intern, so I thought it was a great example of the type of value that an older worker can bring into the workplace.

JoDee  19:27 

Right. That’s another good thought, too, Susan, is thinking about this concept of reverse mentoring. Right? And how younger employees, going back to the stereotype that younger people might have stronger technology skills, how might they reverse mentor some of the older workers in technology or in other skills, and then also utilizing the older workers to mentor younger workers at the same time.

Susan  19:59 

Yeah, I agree. So let’s talk about when you do have older workers, you know, how can we make sure that you’re engaging them and really retaining them? Because I really do think they are, as you said, really a hot commodity for companies that can attract and retain the older workers. There’s some companies out there that are doing some creative things. Caremark has a snowbird program, and they’ve actually had it since 2004, and this is where, at a CVS drugstore, they will have workers who are…during the cold weather, they are down in the south or in warm climates, and in the warmer weather, they’re back up in the north and other places, so that as their business really booms, they have plenty of workers in that location, and when the tourists all leave, so do their snowbird workers.

JoDee  20:49 

I love the creativity of that concept, as well as just the opportunity to keep great employees. Right? And doing what works for them, what works for the company and the individual, as well.

Susan  21:06 

I have heard of people individually who have gone out to, like, the national parks during the summer to work as retirees, and then during the winter, they’ll, you know, go back home. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be a round the year type of thing, but if you’re looking for seasonal workers, it very well might be that an older employee might want that flexibility to go work for three or four months and then have the rest of the year off.

JoDee  21:28 

Right.

Susan  21:28 

There was a time in my career that I worked in a banking institution and we would recognize that we’d have employees, tellers, that would want to have the summers off with their kids, and we would open up summer staff jobs to teachers, because some of them wanted to work full-time, so they would teach during the year, and then they would work as tellers during the summer. So that was a really effective program that could very well work for people who need flexibility or want flexibility.

JoDee  21:56 

Right. I, of course, grew up in the CPA firm world, where we hired many seasonal employees from January to April, and I remember as a young staff, even back then, working with some older retired people who just wanted to work for a few months of the year, and I thought that was so, so great for both our company, who needed the help, and then to be able to just work a few months of the year.

Susan  22:28 

That’s wonderful. There’s…there’s another concept called bridge employment that some employers are doing, which is as individuals are starting to think about, maybe, they would like to retire, but they’re not ready to be off, you know, full-time, sitting at home figuring out what to do. So what they do is they work individually with those folks who are thinking about retirement and they start to reduce their work hours over time. So that…let’s say we’re three years out. Maybe this year, we’re going to go from 40 hours to 30 hours. Next year, 20 hours. Maybe that last year, you’re working 15 hours a week. But I think that’s fairly smart. So you are retaining that institutional knowledge for as long as you can, hopefully do a knowledge transfer to others that will follow, and you’re retaining somebody who’s really adding value.

JoDee  23:11 

Right. I love the concept of just ongoing skills training. Right? And not making the assumption that they’re not ready to learn or take on different skills or maybe thinking about taking on a different role in the organization, and how might they best utilize their skills and strengths in the organization by doing something different or doing more of what they do really well.

Susan  23:41 

I agree. So JoDee, I know Purple Ink offers intergenerational training. Is it something that you would recommend that businesses consider?

JoDee  23:49 

I do, and I think the overall message from that is about not making assumptions about people. Right? And no matter how old they are, or what their skills are, or how little or long they’ve worked, but talking to people individually about what is most important to them. I think it’s interesting, we…as…I’m actually writing my second JoyPowered® book on JoyPowered® families. We asked the question in the book about work life balance and/or work life integration and how it worked for people with their families and with their work, and what was really interesting to me, I think it’s not rocket science, because we all know this, but yet to see it as people responded to our survey about this question, that we had people who talked about how they needed more flexibility because they had young kids, and yet on the other end, we had people, older employees, who said they needed more flexibility because they had aging parents. And we have people who had stayed home and were ready to get back to work, and people who were working and were ready to stay home more, so…. And it was people at all ages, shapes, sizes, and skill sets who responded to it, and I think you just…you can’t make assumptions about someone’s age and what might be most important to them, because we’re all at different places in our lives.

Susan  25:30 

Very fair. Well, we’ve talked about the employer, but let’s switch viewpoints to the mature worker themselves. I had an article published on Inside Indiana Business entitled “Going Gray at Work.” I think it was when I started to go gray, I just thought, “How am I going to pull this off in the workplace?” And the advice that I gave in this article was really how to stay relevant and not only survive, but but thrive as you age in a multigenerational office. So, you know, all of us are getting older every day, and I do think that it’s smart for individuals to think about how do I come into the workplace every day and try to help dispel some of the, sadly, assumptions people might make. So here’s what my advice was, JoDee. First of all, I think you need to be the most optimistic person in the office. You know, I believe in positivity, and so you need to come in and think about, where can we be going, what can we be doing. Secondly, I think because you are older and you’ve had a chance to experience a lot of things that not everyone in the office has yet, you know, confronted, that you should be generous with your time and your resources. Be the person who says, “I’d love to share with you experiences I’ve had on this,” just make sure…maybe you don’t want to bore people with what…what has happened in the past and history. But make sure that you make yourself available to share some of the subject matter expertise that you’ve gained. My third piece of advice is engage in every training opportunity at your disposal. So if they’re offering online training, if they’re offering a chance to go and hear a speaker, to do whatever, jump on it, you know, be the first one signing up. And then my fourth piece of advice is never stop building relationships. I think some people get really comfortable, I know everybody I know, I like who I like. And that’s crazy, because people come in and people go out, and it’s…I think building relationships needs to be just perpetual.

JoDee  27:24 

I think another comment on that, Susan, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve interviewed over the years that were maybe later in their career and for one reason or another lost their job – it could could have been because of performance, but might have been the company closed or relocated or had a big downsizing – and how so many of the people have told me that they weren’t doing any networking or building relationships outside of the workplace.

Susan  27:58 

Yikes.

JoDee  27:59 

And as I suggested to them to talk to their networks and share what they were looking for, so many people glazed over a bit at me and said, “I don’t have a network,” or “I don’t have a network outside of work.” Now, the people you used to work with can still help with that, as well, but…but getting some people outside of your network, whether it’s through community activities or a church or your neighborhood or whatever that might be, I just think building relationships inside and outside of work can be really important.

Susan  28:36 

I do. It’s really healthy and I think it’s extremely important to your ongoing employability. And my final point or piece of advice would be, it’s important, as an older employee, make sure that you admit mistakes quickly and share what you learn from them. I think that it keeps you very genuine, and I think it makes you approachable, and it’s important to be real. So, JoDee, anything else you want to add?

JoDee  29:03 

I think sometimes it’s easy for us, myself included, to label ourselves sometimes as “Oh, I’m old. I don’t want to learn that new technology,” or “I’m old, so I’m slower than you are,” and almost…. So I love your advice about being the most optimistic person in the office. And thinking about what we mentioned earlier of the concept of reverse mentoring, you know, take one of those younger employees out to lunch and learn from them about what they’re doing to be successful and is it…technology is so important, and you might not be the best person in the office, but keeping up with that core level of skills, I think, is critical.

Susan  29:51 

Great, well, leave your email address on our JoyPowered® voicemail if you’d like a copy of the “Going Gray at Work,” article at 317.688.1613.

So JoDee, we do have a listener question today. “I run a company with about 75 employees here in Kentucky. I pride myself on making sure this is a good place to work and rarely get complaints. I do not have a full-time HR person on my team, as I just don’t think we’re big enough. My CFO has a staff member who runs payroll and runs interference on benefit issues. I’ve listened to all of your podcasts and when you mentioned employment laws and workplace trends, I realized maybe we aren’t doing everything we should be doing. Do most companies my size have an HR person? Should I send my CFO or payroll and benefits staff member to some training? Where do I start?”

JoDee  30:43 

So my suggestion…well, overall, it’s sort of a rule of thumb in the HR world that you have an HR person for between every 50 to 100 employees. So I think at 75, it probably is time to start thinking about your…your HR needs. Now, that could be an outside consultant, it could be outsourced services, it could be sending someone internally to additional training, as well. I would think about what types of questions are you getting, what types of concerns that you have? But I do think most of the times with our clients in that employee range, it’s a matter of they don’t know what they don’t know. I think when I started Purple Ink and the HR consulting business, I thought companies would come to me when they had questions, and I realized as I started working with companies that most of it was a matter of they didn’t know what to ask. So I would suspect there are things out there…the first thing that always comes to my mind any time an employer has more than 50 employees and they don’t have an HR person is do they understand about FMLA, and that can be a topic for another day, but those types of things can really get employers in trouble. How you’re storing I-9s, I mean, all these different employment laws and regulations and even employee relations issues. Do your…your people have someone they can go to to share concerns about their supervisors, their managers, even just to ask questions about benefits and feel like they have someone who truly understands those issues, as opposed to someone who might just be processing or inputting the information? So I can’t tell you 100% whether you need to hire someone full time, but I would suspect, at a minimum, you need to have some outside assistance or call in. One of the things that we do with a lot of companies of your size is to start with an HR assessment, where we can go in and investigate some of the core HR areas of training and compliance and employment law and see what’s currently happening, what issues might be at risk, and then decide from there whether or not you think you need to hire someone full time.

Susan  33:36 

I think that’s a great approach. I would say at a minimum, you do want to make sure that your CFO or payroll benefit staff member is connecting to some types of training, because we know that, anywhere in the U.S., that local laws change, state laws change on the employment front every year, and you really want to make sure you stay compliant. So at a minimum, I would make sure that they belong maybe to their local SHRM chapter, the Society of Human Resource Management, or that they’re regularly going to some type of employment law training. All right, well, good.

So hey, in the news, JoDee, I wanted to talk about an HRmorning.com article that came out in November of 2017. It cited a Summit Hosting survey that was done with over 1,000 employees across the U.S. asking them to rank the top corporate buzzwords. I get such a kick out of buzzwords, and sometimes somebody’ll use a new one, I’ll say, I got to write that down. It’s so good. So they did a ranking, which I thought was fun. Some of the worst words. The first one was “lol,” you know, laugh out loud. The problem is, is that people in the workplace will say it out loud. They’ll say “lol.” Now, I think as a text, I get it, but saying in the middle of the meeting when they think something’s funny, that one cracks me up. Some other worst words, “ping me.” So I guess, like, you know, send me an instant message. Anything that has to do with “hacker,” “hacking,” it’s become, I think, overused, ubiquitous in fact. And then the one I just really can’t stand is “at the end of the day.” So it’s people trying to say what’s really important to them, so “at the end of the day, I think we ought to do X, Y or Z.” Some of the acceptable words used frequently, so these are the ones that are okay, “run it up the flagpole,” you know, we need a decision made, let’s run it up the flagpole. “Low hanging fruit,” let’s…let’s grab the low hanging fruit and get that done. “Synergy,” used a lot. “Piggyback.” “Taking one for the team.” “Jump ship.” “That’s a no brainer.” “We’re gonna have to table this discussion.” And “the elephant in the room.” And then there’s some that they think are really okay, because they’re just unavoidable, and those include, “I’ve got a lot on my plate.” I didn’t think of that as jargon. I think about, we all have a lot on our plate, right? “Game changer.” “All hands on deck.” “I want to pick your brain.” “I’m gonna have to hold down the fort.” “Think outside the box.” “Open door policy.” “Keep me posted.” Now, some of my favorites that didn’t appear on the list at all, I love when people say “I need to repurpose the meeting,” meaning that we’re going to talk about something different than what was on the agenda or what was…

JoDee  36:14 

I like it.

Susan  36:15 

Another one I like is, you know, “stay in your lane,” that it’s really easy for us to start to wanting to do lots of things. Well, let’s stay in our lanes and do what we really know. And that’s very similar to the, “in my wheelhouse,” this particular line of work or this particular project’s really in my wheelhouse. And then I guess my all-time favorite that I hear in the workplace is “JoyPowered®.”

JoDee  36:32 

Ooh, that’s my favorite too. Susan, I heard you say one earlier in the podcast, I’m debating as to whether I…I think I like it, but only when used very appropriately or maybe about ourselves and not others, is “we’re at the end of the runway.”

Susan  36:54 

Oh, that’s great.

All right, so please tune in next time. Thank you so much for listening today. If you’ve missed any of our podcasts, you can catch all episodes for free at iTunes, Google Play, or Podbean by searching on the word “JoyPowered.” If you have questions on any HR topic, you can call us anytime and leave a voicemail at 317-688-1613 or give feedback on our podcast via our JoyPowered® Facebook account or on Twitter @JoyPowered. We always welcome listeners’ questions and comments.

JoDee  37:28 

Look for the joy in your days today. Thank you.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily works behind the scenes at JoyPowered, helping to edit and publish the books, producing the podcast, and running the website and social media.

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