To all administrative professionals, those now working from home and the many thousands still commuting to offices at essential businesses, we want you to know on this Administrative Professionals Day 2020 that we appreciate everything you do.

At any time, the work you do can be demanding. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more challenging than ever.

That’s why we are making this special effort to recognize you on this day and thank you.


Jun 6, 2023

3 Steps to More Civil Disagreement

In these contentious times it’s important to remember that disagreements and differences of opinion aren’t zero sum games, battles to be won at all costs.

“Disagreement stems from differing points of view that may be anchored in deep-seated beliefs that each hold dear,” writes John Baldoni, internationally recognized leadership educator and author of 14 books. “The challenge is to put aside the animus and respect one another as sentient and capable. We can feel, and we can decide.”

Erisology, a term that first made its appearance in The Atlantic last year, is the study of destructive arguments, or, as the term’s creator John Nerst described it, “unsuccessful disagreement”. An unsuccessful disagreement is an exchange where people are no closer in understanding at the end than they were at the beginning, meaning the exchange has been mostly about talking past each other and/or hurling insults.”

These types of unsuccessful disagreements have always existed. In centuries past, they were constrained by the educated classes who were trained in the art of rhetoric and debate. The internet and the anonymity it offers loosened the rules and broadened the reach of zealots. As discussions grew more strident, they also often became more personal and adversarial.

Says Baldoni, “The reasons [for the stridency] are speculative — social media and the abnegation of fact — but the results are people believe what they want to believe and, in doing so, end up in separate camps. Such distancing is not healthy for our culture.”

What’s to be done? Baldoni’s prescription is personal:

  1. Do not pre-judge. See the person as an individual who has a point of view and not as a combatant.
  2. Listen carefully. “Invite the other to speak first. Stay calm, breath regularly and relax your facial muscles. Take a point the other has said and use it as an opening for a new line of discussion.”
  3. Argue dispassionately. Look for common ground. There is almost always something on which the two of you can agree. Then “use that commonality as a bridge to finding understanding.”

Following his advice isn’t easy, he admits, “These three steps, while easy to state, can be difficult to implement when tempers flare and more difficult still when people feel their values are under siege.” But as he says, these are tools that can be used to return civility to our disagreements.

“Our challenge is to put them to good use.”

Photo by Mad Fish Digital on Unsplash


Employee Benefits for a Supportive Workplace

Employee satisfaction doesn’t just start and end at the salary. For a company to really take care of their employees, they have to offer a strong benefit package. Working adults want to feel appreciated and safe; offering specific benefits and wellness programs prove they are valued and protected. In the past, companies have used perks such as game rooms and happy hours to boost workplace morale and culture. But in recent years, it’s become clear that those ideas aren’t what keep people happy.  

We’ve summed up a variety of employee benefits that create a supportive and inclusive workplace. It’s important to understand that people just want to feel comfortable. This will lead to a stable environment, reduced turnover rates, and a stronger acceptance within the company.  

Leave for all parents

Traditionally, only those who have given birth are offered time off as new parents. However, more and more companies are supporting paternity leave in addition to maternity. The early relationship between a newborn and any parent is crucial for development. LinkedIn says, “Offering gender-neutral parental leave, including leave for parents of newly adopted children, can help contribute to lasting bonds between parents and children in early development while also creating a positive work-life balance.” 

Flexible scheduling and work from home opportunities 

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, especially in this Green Key Unlocked installment, trusting your employees to get their work done, while adjusting to their own schedules, has become essential. Not every job requires employees to stay behind their desk from 9am to 5pm. Paid time off, floating holidays, leaving early to pick up children, and civic duties such as voting should all be considered here. In fact, many companies have seen an increase in productivity with the option to work at your own pace. It also establishes an element of respect between workers and upper management.  

Domestic partner benefits 

It’s no surprise that fewer people are waiting to get married these days, or not married at all. The demand for domestic partnership benefits is growing. Offering healthcare plans to those in cohabitation helps to promote an inclusive workplace. As a society, we should always be adjusting to the general way of life. This should also include support of the LGBTQ+ community, especially for any transgender employees who may require medical coverage for surgery and therapy in order to transition.  

Family building benefits 

LinkedIn also stresses the importance of family building benefits. “For a long time, family-building benefits were limited to fertility tests and, in a few cases, in vitro fertilization. But this family of benefits has expanded into other areas as well, including egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, and more,” they say. Many couples and families struggle to expand, and these benefits allow them to do so in a seamless process.

Retirement plans 

Offering pension plans or 401(k)s allow employees to comfortably prepare for retirement. Indeed stresses, “Retirement benefits can help provide employees a well-organized and reliable way to save money and plan their financial futures for themselves and their families. When employees do retire, they will have a predetermined budget to live on depending on how much money they saved through their employer’s retirement plan or other retirement options they pursued.” 

Tuition reimbursement 

A huge benefit that employees seek is tuition reimbursement to continue their education. Within reason, companies may offer certain amounts of money for specific courses related to their industry. Indeed says, “Typically, companies set restrictions on course types, ensuring the courses taken relate to their role at the company, or require employees to continue working for a certain amount of time after completing their coursework or degree.” 

Remaining accountable

If you’re looking to support your employees and prove their value, consider these benefits and more. In a time when people are moving along if they’re not satisfied, remaining sensitive and competitive will recruit new talent and devote to those who stay.