In Brief: Business Travel; Employee Criticism

December 3, 2018


Easing the Burden of Business Travel for Workers

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal revealed the toll of frequent business travel on U.S. workers. Twenty-five percent of “road warriors” (business travelers who spend at least 35 nights a year away from home) report feeling “significantly or extremely affected by jet lag.” Almost half of these individuals say they hope to travel less in the next two years.

Yet, small changes to employee travel protocol can pay dividends in preventing your best workers from quitting due to the grind. For instance, says the Journal, allowing workers to fly business class instead of coach (the article found that road warriors ride in coach 80 percent of the time), stay in higher-quality hotels for better sleep, and have access to healthier food can strongly boost energy and morale.

Executives who commit to accommodating these business travel needs may ultimately be helping themselves, too. Writes the Journal’s Scott McCartney, “In the long run, for many industries where talented labor is in high demand, easing travel friction can save money. Losing employees and recruiting and training replacements can be far more expensive.”

Study: Men Lack Awareness of the Workplace Struggles Women Face

According to a survey by CNBC and LinkedIn, men aren’t in touch with many of the career challenges working women face. For example, the study found that while four in five women said the workplace holds more obstacles to advancement for women than men, only half of men held the same opinion.

There are similar perception discrepancies when it comes to the pay gap, too. The study found that only a quarter of women think their employees pay the same as men, while twice as many men believe their company has no gender pay gap.

However, the survey did find a shift in outlook among younger men, who are more likely than older men to be privy to their inherent career privileges. “Perhaps the old guard of the industry is thinking a certain way, but we are seeing a perception change in what perhaps younger people in the industry are thinking,” says Caroline Fairchild, managing editor at LinkedIn.

How Empathy and Inclusion Inspired the 2018 Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox took home the 2018 MLB World Series trophy thanks to its powerful hitters, nifty fielders and consistent starting pitchers. But turning talent into wins often requires motivation and focus, which is what first-time manager Alex Cora helped inspire in his players by fostering a kind, welcoming clubhouse culture.

Writes ESPN’s Tim Keown in a post-World Series profile on Cora, “He wanted a team that felt like a family, one constructed out of tolerance and diversity and inclusion.”

A key moment for this outlook came when the Red Sox lost a heartbreaking World Series Game 3 in 18 innings. Amid his players’ frustration, Cora walked into the clubhouse and called everyone together to say he was “grateful for their effort and proud to be part of their team.”

And when asked if he ever gets angry with his players, Cora said, “No, I don’t. I talk to them. If I have something to tell them, I just sit with them. Casual, very casual. I try to have good conversations.”

The Key Ways Leaders Can Learn From Employee Criticism

Though it can be difficult for leaders to own up to their mistakes or shortcomings, they should view critical feedback from their staff as a gift, writes David Dye of Let’s Grow Leaders.

For leaders looking to get the most out of employee criticism, Dye recommends they show gratitude, ask questions and manage strong emotions. “Critical feedback is never pleasant, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day,” he writes.

It’s also important for leaders to test the criticism by looking for patterns around the office. In other words, while negative feedback can sometimes be the views of a single individual, other times it can clue the C-suite into a systemic problem happening at a lower level.

“If one person says it, file it. If two people say it, pay attention. If three or more people have the same feedback, it’s time to take it seriously,” says Dye.


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