Wanting to Help Others Could Make You Happier at Work

workplace behaviors Feb 27, 2023

By Shanna B. Tiayon


Workplaces typically are environments that value traits like individual drive, effort, and innovation, which are recognized and rewarded through promotions, pay, and bonuses. In many jobs, there’s very little incentive for “prosocial behavior”—that is, actions aimed at benefiting others. Yet in most workplaces, we can usually find individuals who seem to have a propensity toward helping others.

What are the benefits of having an inclination toward kind and compassionate behavior at work, and why should workplaces care?

Those are questions tackled by a recent meta-analysis, a type of study that gathers and compares data from many studies in order to identify trends and common results. In this case, the researchers included 252 groups of participants from 201 workplace studies focused on people’s motivation to be prosocial: their “desire to benefit others or expend effort out of concern for others.” Since there...

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When You Should Help Your Coworkers—and When to Think Twice

workplace behaviors Aug 23, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon


When was the last time you helped a colleague at work?

Helping in the workplace can take various forms—for example, training an intern, comforting a colleague in distress, or taking on extra work to complete a team project.

If your organization has a competitive work culture—or if you’re anything like the 35 percent of working Americans who feel overwhelmed by their workload—helping others in the workplace may not be at the top of your priority list. However, research suggests that more helpful workplaces actually perform better; they produce better-quality products and have increased sales. And helping others at work feels good.

If you can’t recall the last time you lent a hand to a coworker, the three questions below may help you start thinking about your interactions at work and how you could be of more service to others in the workplace.

1. When are you most likely to help others at work?

Are you...

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How to Avoid Doing Harm When You Discuss Race at Work

workplace behaviors Aug 23, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon


The year 2020 has been a rough one, especially for Black Americans. The global coronavirus pandemic’s disproportional impact, combined with multiple police murders of unarmed Black people, cast a brighter light on systemic racism in the United States. In many instances, the killings were caught on phones and the images repeatedly replayed on social media and the news.

Somewhere around the end of May to early June, corporations sent out public statements en masse in support of Black Lives Matter. Ironically, in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns, a couple of months prior, job listings for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roles had fallen by 60%, but increased by 50% as Black Lives Matter protests spread. Corporations started to hold DEI dialogues inside their organizations to complement their external messaging—perhaps because 69% of Americans believe that corporate messaging about racism is more about pressure from...

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Work Before Wellness? Why We Sacrifice our Mental and Physical Wellness for our Jobs

workplace behaviors Aug 22, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon


Throughout my career as a manager and human resources professional, I’ve seen countless examples of employees who sacrificed their wellness for their jobs.

Once, an employee had to have a triple bypass heart surgery. Within a day or two after the surgery they called their manager offering to work remotely during their recovery period!

Another time, I had to intervene when an employee received news that their father passed away, but they still came into work. They were visibly unfit to work, but decided to come in because they didn’t want to miss a deliverable!!

So as not to be the pot calling the kettle black, a few years ago my daughter was born early via an emergency C-section. One of the scariest days of my life. Thank God she was born healthy and is thriving today. Nevertheless, hours after her birth, still doped up on pain meds, I found myself in the maternity wing lobby on conference calls, continuing to work. Why? Because I felt bad...

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