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Monday, August 26, 2019

How to tell if you’re being ‘breadcrumbed’ at work, by Emily Torres (From BBC Worklife)

👉By Emily Torres

Stop breadcrumbing me!
From: BBC Worklife / Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

🚩Is your boss commitment-phobic?

Our modern dating vocabulary is making its way into our work lexicon, and it’s bringing more life and colour to the way we describe our experiences. Have you ever been ghosted by a potential employer? Or have you ghosted them? Now, thanks to the latest series of the reality TV show Love Island, we have a new word for an old practice: breadcrumbing.

“Breadcrumbing is when you leave little bits of bread for someone. It’s a way of saying when you lead someone on,” explains Love Island host Caroline Flack. These small amounts of communication, encouragement or rewards ultimately might leave the recipient empty-handed.

Whether you’re being strung along in a drawn-out hiring process or your existing employer is leading you on, breadcrumbing gives you “just enough” to keep you on the line. You can see it when your manager drops hints about new projects, raises or promotions that may – or may not – ever materialise.

“Breadcrumbing is really a modern term for what we used to call intermittent reinforcement, which is one of the strongest ways to develop someone's behaviour,” says B Lynn Ware, an industrial/organisational psychologist and the CEO of a leadership consultancy in California. She explains that successful managers use behavioural reinforcement to develop their staff through appropriate and proportional recognition and rewards.

But what if they’re not actually using it for employee development? […]

🚩Red flags to watch for

In a healthy workplace, feedback comes readily and regularly. Take stock of when you receive rewards or encouragement; is it only during times of peak burnout, or right when you’re ready to call it quits? […]

Stay vigilant of how your manager communicates rewards to you, as well. […] Two-way communication and negotiation are essential.

A classic breadcrumbing tactic is giving someone just enough to keep them busy, without taking the risk of doing something totally new. So, consider how your manager reacts to your proposals for new projects or ideas. […]

Finally, one of the biggest red flags is when a company routinely dangles promotions or promises title changes without following through.

🚩Establishing follow-through

Workers continue to expect more from their employers in terms of engagement and development. And savvy employers know that developing their employees’ careers cultivates loyalty. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, which surveyed over 4,000 employees, managers, executives and talent developers, 94% of employees would stay at a job longer if it invested in their career.

[…] Frequent, transparent communication and commensurate rewards are a must – breadcrumbs, but the right kind.

“I don't think breadcrumbing is necessarily a bad thing, as long as the manager follows through on it,” says Ware. “Managers are trained to recognise talented employees and help them grow, and it should always come with follow through.” (Read full article)

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