Got Chops? Open up at Meetings!

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After reading a great blog from Roz Usher, a leadership, image and branding specialist, entitled, “Silence is NOT Golden or When and How to Speak Up During A Meeting,” I naturally want to embellish even more into the heart of employee engagement.

Roz touches on employee engagement by noting how the silent people at meetings may appear to be disengaged by not participating. However, in my experience it is more the case of very much engaged employees afraid to speak out or interrupt a filibuster conducted by a chatty manager or a bloviated bulldozer.

We know that communication is 80% listening. The listener decides if communication is to take place. However at meetings, participation is mandatory in order to accomplish the meeting objectives. You were invited to the meeting for a reason. If you were in doubt that you should attend, ask the meeting coordinator what your purpose is at the meeting so you can prepare for it as Roz suggests in her blog.

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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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Non-Bosses Bossing

Is this happening to you?

bossingJust like the clown post I wrote the other day, it seems like there’s one of these in every crowd too. There are some folks out there who consider themselves a manager though they do not possess the proper title in order to actually manage anyone. Some lines you just don’t cross.

It is one thing when a coworker asks for your help with something, but another if he or she demands it as an order, thus assuming your manager’s role. You should only report to one person, and that’s your immediate manager/supervisor. He or she should know what your work load is and whether or not you can be “lent” out to help someone else.

Some advocates advise assuming a role as a manager in order to actually obtain the position. This hardly means that you start supervising others on your own. You should only assume certain tasks that your current manager approves.

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Here’s to the Clowns at Work

Somebody has to make us laugh!

clownYou know the guy or gal who makes you smile, and laugh out loud. Sometimes just looking at them makes you laugh because you know they could blurt out something funny at any moment. There’s one in every crowd. Remember the kid in grade school who was always in trouble for making funny comments, or funny faces?

I may have written about this incident before, but one of my favorite memories of a class clown was of Scott “Clown” (I can’t recall his last name). He sat a few desks up from us in the back row. We were arranged by height, and I was one of the tallest, so I sat in the back with my smart, handsome classmate, Steve Swatek (His last name I remember.) in the last desk of the next row from me. Then there was Steve Schmidt, another funny kid who sat directly in front of me.

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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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How Much Notice Should I Give to My Soon-to-Be Ex-Employer?

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The rule is 2 weeks’ notice and that time shouldn’t include your remaining vacation days off. Your employer will need someone trained to take your place. From the time you give notice, an ad goes out immediately for your replacement.  If you are asked to do the training, you will probably need a good week to train the new kid. I’m sure this all depends upon the position at hand. Some positions may not need that much hand-holding, and HR will be training you on the rules of the company and hand you any necessary paperwork to sign.

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What to Do When You Can’t Go To Human Resources for Help

fire_breathing_dragon_by_sandara-d56vmyuSo, you say that your micro-managing boss is a fire-breathing dragon and on your back all day long? You feel like you’re being bullied and you’re this close to telling him or her off and quitting on the spot. But you’re not 16 anymore running back home to your folks announcing you just quit and will find another job next week. You’re much older now with a family to support, mortgage, kids in college, and bills up the ying-yang. Who loses when you walk off the job? Oh, sure, employers suffer having to rehire and spending a couple grand, but they will recuperate. You may not unless you are ultra-savvy in the job market and can snap up jobs quicker than Donald Trump can slip on another gold ring. The majority of us will suffer the consequences of such an irrational move as tempting as it is at the time.

So, walking off the job with a few choice adjectives mumbled under your breath is out of the question. Let’s go to human resources to air grievances! This is the logical and rational approach to getting issues resolved in a calm and democratic way. After all, isn’t that what the rule book advises? Most company handbooks will say similar things such as the following:

Right to Speak:

Every employee has the right and ability to raise issues of concern about the company or about the treatment of an employee confidentially, free from any fear of reprisal.

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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

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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.

“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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