Millenials Managing Baby Boomers: Can It Work?

I am in a somewhat unique situation at work in which I sometimes supervise and direct the work of employees who are much older and more tenured than I am. However, it should be noted that this is becoming increasingly common as Millenials are finishing their education and advancing through their organizations at a fairly quick pace. While I am confident in my knowledge and ability to do my job well, I do still stumble when I find myself having to explain to a more tenured employee. That is, some individuals I interact with have been working in the organization for longer than I have been alive! Clearly, this makes for a somewhat strange dynamic. Continue Reading →

Is There a Difference Between Management and Leadership?

Management and leadership are often thought of as very similar concepts.  One of the most important observations to be made is that organizations need both good managers and good leaders to be successful.  Both management and leadership are given power. It is believed that good managers and leaders will use their “socialized power” to benefit employees by encouraging energy and enthusiasm in the workplace.  And on the other hand, management and leadership can abuse the power by bullying employees and causing physical and psychological stress. Continue Reading →

What went wrong?

It is an inevitability that individuals leave their jobs. Sometimes leaving a position is a result of dissatisfaction with something within the organization (e.g., the manager, the hours, the tasks were too difficult/easy for the employee’s skills, etc.) and sometimes it’s a result of external factors such as a spouse’s job relocation or better opportunities elsewhere. There are many reasons why an employee may terminate his or her employment and often times this information is not well utilized by supervisors. Information regarding employee turnover can be evaluated to improve the work environment for current and future employees if leaders find that an organizational deficiency does exist. Continue Reading →

Employee Engagement: Managing Your Employees

7-8-2013
At every organization there is a commonality that will always exist. That is there are employees that are different from one another. They have different personalities, backgrounds, educational levels, motivations, satisfactions, and most important they have different methods for completing work. When it comes to management, leaders must understand that not every employee can be managed the same. Continue Reading →

Managers Beware: Joking Can Be Deadly

4-25-13
Most employees want to have positive relationships with their managers. After all, employees’ managers can dictate the success of an employee moving up or moving down. What happens when managers cross the line? What is the impact on employees? Continue Reading →

Shortcuts in Judgment

http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1151651Individuals are often presented with situations that require a decision with little available information. For example, hiring managers must make quick and accurate decisions regarding who would be best to hire for an open position. In circumstances such as these, heuristics often come into effect. Heuristics are a part of normal human judgment and decision making in that they serve as a cognitive shortcut to arriving at a solution (Bazerman & Moore, 2008). While sometimes using heuristics can be a good thing, such as a situation in which an employee chooses a future employer based on the company’s reputation in order to ensure a good fit, heuristics can also lead to unintentional bias which in turn leads to poor decisions. One type of heuristic is called the “availability heuristic” in which one makes a judgment based on the availability of relevant data. Continue Reading →

3 Tips to Improve Managers

In human resources and other related fields, we often focus on improving employee performance. This is usually directed toward managers and how they should teach their staff to be more effective. But what about the managers themselves? It seems that the higher an employee is in the hierarchy of an organization, the fewer sources of feedback he or she receives regarding performance. So what can be done to inform managers about their own performance more effectively? Continue Reading →

Recognition


When you are working hard and putting forth your best effort everyday at work, what is it that you want to hear from your boss? Do you want to hear that you have done something wrong or have cost the company money? Of course not! We all long to be recognized for the effort we put into our work. Continue Reading →

Sign Below If You Agree


When we are hired for a job we sign countless contracts, agreements, and policies. These documents outline what is expected of a new employee. The main purpose of these documents is for legality, but what other purpose do they serve? Verbal agreements are often easy to break, but signed agreements tend to keep people more accountable. Continue Reading →

TRAINING DAY

Employee training is only effective if its desired results and actions are allowed by management to be practiced by the employees.

This is a powerful statement I happen to believe in. All too often at various training sessions I attended in the past, I heard less than mediocre enthusiasm, seen rolling eyes, and heard negative responses. I’m not surprised when I hear someone comment:

  • I think this is a complete waste of time and money.
  • Who’s going to remember all this?
  • I doubt we will be allowed to practice what we learn.
  • I’ve learned a lot on a personal level but not on a professional level.
  • This is not going to help our situation at this company

The list of negatives goes on. However, I was very delighted to hear just the opposite at our last company-wide training session which was scheduled over 3 days, for 3 hours each day. The training was very interesting and engaging. There were plenty of questions posed to us individually. In essence, we were asked to voice our opinions and experiences without criticism.

My personal experience with training leads me to believe that the techniques used by the instructor inspire one to learn how to think more than to learn what to do. The hopeful outcome that any instructor wishes to ignite is for trainees to have an Alleluia epiphany. As teachers will tell you, this is a wonderful euphoric moment for them knowing they have “gotten through” to their students.

Training in the workplace is no different. My observation of most of the people, especially in the work groups I participated in, was that they seemed very honest, open and interested in change in order to improve the way we do things now. We did not dwell on faulty current processes as much as we were eager to learn from the instructor how to improve. In my mind, this speaks volumes.   

While in college, studying for my degree in Applied Behavioral Science, we took various personality tests which are still popular to this day; Keirsey-Bates and Myers-Briggs; MBTI®, to name a few. In this training session, we took the “DiSC” personality test. The practicum here is to discover more about ourselves and how we relate to others. As a company that studies human behavior and advises best practices in the workplace, I believe this to be one of best foundations of communication. After this particular exercise learning about DiSC, I found a comparison of personality tests online. My MBTI® score is ENFJ; sensing, intuitive and feelings, a natural pedagogue, and the DiSC score is “i” which equates to the MBTI ENFJ.

Once we were knowledgeable about our own and others’ scores, we found it much better to relate later on when we were in problem solving teams. As far as taking what we learned from the classroom to the real world, we worked on a real company problem which we had methodically concluded was top priority. All notes and flip charts were saved and the entire session was videotaped and individual teams were recorded at their tables.

I believe our training was a huge success. I felt good about learning something new. I felt enlightened to be on the cusp of change. I had several epiphanies myself; one of which was learning how to brainstorm in a newer and better way than the old Quality Circles. I learned a lot about myself and my colleagues as well.

Finally, training is only as good as the trainer. Mr. Dille, was our instructor and being an “I” (from DiSC) himself, he is highly knowledgeable on the subjects he presents; lively and enthusiastic, funny, attentive, timely, and made us want to learn more. Mr. Dille returns in October to continue more training sessions with us, and not only am I looking forward to it, but I strongly feel it’s worth every dime!