Do you have to “Bark” and “Meow” about everything?

complainersI never complain about anything. Everyone knows I sit perfectly at my desk, am quiet and make no waves. Ha! Of course if I said that seriously, my coworkers would have me committed.

Every so often, I find myself complaining and while I believe you have to have someone as a sounding board, it’s wise to do this only once in a while. There are those who are unhappy, either with their work or their private lives, and they tend to complain about everything – ALL THE TIME. Nothing is positive and the glass is always half empty.

If/when I think I’m complaining too much, I have to make an immediate self-assessment. Me first because all else reflects what I am thinking or doing.

1. Did I get enough sleep last night?

2. Is it a “crabby” Monday morning?

3. What’s going on at home that I’m bringing to work and taking it out on everyone?

4. Is it money problems?

If I’ve answered any of my self-assessment questions, then I know I have to regroup, take a deep breath and think before I complain again to anyone. Be careful with the coffee too, though I need it to stay awake if it’s self-assessment #2.

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Associate vs. Employee : Who’s Who and What’s What?

ASSOCIATE-OF-THE-MONTHThe HR Bartender, one of my favorite people, Sharlyn Lauby, asked everyone in Cyber, if they felt that the word “associate” should replace the word, “employee.” There is a poll and I voted not to replace employee with associate.

Further, a few responded, and of course, yours truly had something to say…

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When We Build, Let Us Think That We Build Forever

Here is a scanned page from a weathered, termite bitten book called Audel’s Carpenters and Builders Guide #4, first published in 1923 and reprinted in 1947.

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It is a practical illustrated trade assistant on “modern” construction for carpenters, joiners, builders, mechanics and all wood workers.

The intro reads:

When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for the present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our father did for us.”
– John Ruskin

I found that very interesting, and because I am a romantic, very poetic as well.

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Tip 8 – Act On Employee Feedback

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts. construction-blueprintConducting a survey without acting on the results is like making blueprints for a house, but not building it. Employee engagement surveys are only worth the actions built around them. When posing survey item, “Management at my organization takes action based on employee survey results,” our global research shows a score of 70% favorable for highly engaged employees versus only 2% for the disengaged. It’s really up to the managers and directors to ensure that the results are communicated to the employees and find solutions to problems and congratulate teams on the high marks. If you can’t find the time to conduct meetings on the results, you’re never going to get that house built!

Tip 7 – Coach Your Employees

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

Football Coach Talking to Two PlayersAfter your annual review and all the comments read from your superiors and possibly, coworkers, what happens next? A promotion? More training?

Our tips book says that the role of a manager is to inspire and coach employees to their highest levels of performance and coach them so they understand their responsibilities and what is expected of them.

What if your manager is not is not doing this? You may want to reach out and ask, “How can I measure and track my own performance?” Specifically, “I would appreciate it if you could guide me through the [name] project to ensure I have it all down-pat.” If your manager is willing to coach you by acting on your questions, keep a journal of the progress so that when it’s review time next year, you can show your detailed accomplishments on paper. This is how you measure for improvement.

Once you have improved in areas your manager considered weak, it’s up to you to show that you have strengthened your abilities in that area over a given period of time. It’s fine for a manager to coach, but the student has to be willing to learn and be tested.

Tip 6 – Build a Customer Focused Team

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

customerfocusThe best businesses employ best practices. One of the basic practices is to ensure customer satisfaction in order to keep them buying more from you and not wander off to competitors.

I can see why this is the #6 tip in our booklet. When you have engaged employees, from practicing the previous tips, you will have more satisfied customers.

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”  Stephen R. Covey

When employees are truly engaged in their work and the company, they too, have invested themselves emotionally and physically primarily because they BELIEVE IN THE MISSION. How did they come to believe in it? Great leadership? Company cheerleaders? Infectious enthusiasm from coworkers? Belief in their abilities from their managers? Perhaps a little of each.

When sales people make a pitch for a product, they have to truly believe in it or it won’t sell. And when their belief system clicks with enthusiasm, they can sell ice cubes to snow men! The same belief has to be at the heart of all employees in order to be completely customer-focused.

Tip 4 – Recognize Your Employees

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Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

Our new booklet, “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” cites Tip #4; Recognize Your Employees.

The booklet states, “Recognition from a manager is a very important motivator for employees. It encourages positive behavior and helps promote long-term top performance.”

Truer words were never written. From a personal perspective, even the slightest bit of recognition can be an ego and morale boost. Being recognized in the work force is not just some trivial contest to see who’s better than whom, it’s about taking the time to acknowledge individual employees on his or her personal contributions to the company. As much as we thrive on teamwork today, individual achievements should be still applauded.

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Tip 3 – Develop Your People

Age should not be a factor

HappyToLearn

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

Tip #3 from our new booklet, “8 tips to Engage Your Employees,” discusses developing people in order to achieve success as a manager. “Opportunities for growth and development are a key driver of employee engagement as well as organizational success.”

Just when you think you have all the experience you need to be successful in your career, you might find yourself needing more education and training. Ugh! The thought of going back to a classroom may be pretty daunting in your forties and fifties. I remember my father having to go to management school for 3 years while he was in his forties in mid-stream of his working career with the Northern Illinois Gas Company. My father had no formal education other than high school. The Gas Company cared enough about him to send him to college for management training. He forced himself to read book after book on management and writing assignments every night until he graduated. The hard work paid off. The education was a great boost to his career and eventually led him to a much better stipend and a company vehicle.

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Tip 2 – Provide Basic Training for Your Employees

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Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

In your job search these days, have you noticed the lengthy job descriptions and qualifications? No doubt the recruiter is taking no chances that you misunderstand what they will be hiring you to do along with the required experience and education.

The job description indicates what you will be doing, but not necessarily that you start doing it without training. During the interview process, that should be made clear by the interviewer as well as the job candidate. “Will I receive training for A, B, and C on the job?” Or “Do I have to know how to do A, B, and C before hire?” The hiring manager if different from the initial interviewer should be able to answer your questions about training before onboarding you.

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Tip 1 – Get to Know Your Employees

supervisor_cares

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

“My supervisor cares about me as a person.” Our research shows that highly engaged employees respond favorably to this survey item by 83%, compared to 4% of the disengaged. I wish there was an item which states, “I can’t wait to get home each day so that I can talk to my loved ones about my work.” If this were an actual survey item, and if it were answered, “Strongly Agree,” then it leads me to think that the person does not confide in others about work or anything else to his or her supervisor. If one were to answer “Disagree,” to that statement, it might be an indication that he or she is satisfied with leaving work at work, and feels free to discuss matters with his or her supervisor without fear of retribution. What kind of a supervisor allows you to feel that way? The answer is one that cares about you as a person. At one time or another, most supervisors were subordinates too, so they should know how the shoe feels on their other foot.

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