Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Leaders should begin by accepting the differences among their employees. Understanding those differences is equally important. Once you understand and accept differences, you can begin to celebrate them. By understanding, you will see how the generations support and reinforce one another. You will also discover how to utilize your generational resources to optimize your business.
Consider, for a moment, the people who you interact with on a daily basis, whether they are: your superiors, your peers, your direct reports or your customers. What generations are they from? Have you fallen into the trap of stereotyping them by their generation or other attributes? What problems in your company, department or team might be the direct result of generational differences or stereotypes? What could you do instead to celebrate the differences among those who you interact with on a daily basis?
The role of a leader is to help employees grow, develop and succeed. Every person, regardless of his or her generation, wants to do a good job and contribute to the organization. Deep down, each person wants to know that their opinions are valued. They want proof that a leader is looking out for their best interests and they want to be rewarded for their efforts. With a good understanding and appreciation of the generations in the workplace, their differences can be a huge benefit for business. Figure out how to leverage their strengths and celebrate the diversity that they bring.
Friday, February 03, 2012
The need for respect is at the core of every person. In a survey conducted by my company, K HR Solutions, respondents indicated that more than money, more than tangible gifts and more than awards, people simply want their boss to approach them and let them know that they have done a good job. There is some confusion, however, about the best ways to recognize good work among your employees.
Here are five tips for providing effective and authentic verbal recognition to your employees:
The recognition should be immediate. Don't wait until an annual review to tell your employee that they have done a great job. Tell them the day that it occurs.
The recognition should be appropriate. Some employees may prefer to be recognized in private while others prefer it to be done in public. Be aware of how each of your employees prefers to receive recognition.
The recognition should be specific. Let them know exactly why they are being praised in detail. Not only will this respect the job they did but it will also ensure a repeat of the same behavior.
The recognition should be explanatory. Explain why the work deserves recognition. When people know that what they are doing has an impact beyond themselves, it increases their sense of accomplishment and their desire to achieve even more.
The recognition should be regular. Give verbal recognition on a regular basis. Too often, managers save recognition for once or twice a year. Regular recognition is more likely to keep employees motivated and enthusiastic about the job.
Remember, giving verbal recognition takes hardly any time at all. No matter how busy your schedule is, you can make room for the time it takes to show your respect to your employees by recognizing good work when you see it happen.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
In order to get great employees to value your company, vary your recruiting message to appeal to what each generation would find desirable in an employer.
Here are some tips for each generation:
• Respect for experience
• Clear roles and responsibilities
• A reputable organization
• Organizational structure
Baby Boomers value:
• Ethical practices
• Leadership opportunities
• A warm, caring culture
• An emphasis on quality and means
Generation X values:
• Opportunities to grow and develop
• Quality products or services
• Efficient processes
• Competent people
Generation Y values:
• Fun and flexibility
• Opportunities to continue learning
• Corporate responsibility
• Up-to-date technology
Tailor your recruiting message to recognize what people value and how they express that value. When you can present a potential employee with what they value in a way that they will understand and receive they are all the more likely to select your company for their next opportunity.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
1. Be passionate. Your staff will always take their cues from you. If you are excited and enthusiastic, you will inspire your team to feel the same way. Always remember that as the leader you set the standard.
2. Keep their eyes on the prize. Clearly state and then reiterate the results you anticipate from your staff to consistently keep them motivated. Leverage each person’s strengths whenever possible.
3. Encourage a proper perspective. Celebrate small victories along the way while keeping them focused on the finish line. Always assume good intent and use verbal recognition to show your respect.
4. Build momentum for change when it is necessary. It’s easy to start strong and then start to see enthusiasm wane. To counter this, put a plan in place to realize the changes you want made and keep pushing each new phase forward to build and maintain momentum.
5. Match your walk to your talk. Too many times, companies declare a need for change but then take no active role in making it happen. Provide your staff with time, resources and feedback. Be fully committed. Be willing to learn and grow through the change.
6. Demonstrate respect for your staff. At our very core, we all want respect. Show your team that they are needed and valued. Solicit their input. Express to them that their concerns are heard and their recommendations welcome.
In the business world we live in today, employees are placing high demands on companies, particularly on leaders. As you implement these tips take notice of how productivity, retention, performance, teamwork and communication all dramatically improve.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
A 2010 Pew Research Center attitudinal survey found that 52% of Millennials say being a good parent is "one of the most important things" in life. By contrast, just 30% say the same about having a successful marriage.
Millennials are also less likely than older adults to say that a child needs a home with a married father and mother to grow up happily. While 70% say they still want to marry, more than four-in-ten (44%) think that the institution of marriage is becoming obsolete.
With their generation getting married later than ever before, they are less likely to believe that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society. In fact, over half (51%) of all births among Millenials in 2008 were to unwed mothers.
With Millenials, also known as Gen Y , now representing 75 million Americans, these changing beliefs will inevitably affect the workforce. Single parents may be looking for more flexibility while unwed adults may have more time and energy to focus on work and continued learning.
This generation is clearly more likely than those before it to question the status quo. The workplace of today must be prepared for these new ideas and ways of thinking. As more Baby Boomers retire and more Gen Y’s enter, corporate cultures will be challenged and flexibility is needed. Are you ready? What will your organization do to ensure that generational differences are respected and valued?
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
- Treat Your Job Search Like A Job. Have a routine each day. Set aside a designated time and space to do your job search. Send out resumes, follow up on previous correspondence, search for new opportunities and register for networking events. Put in the effort each day as you would at your job.
- Utilize Resource and Support Groups. Many support groups and resources have been established for people in transition. Ask around and find one in your area. Talking and sharing with others who are in similar situations can be extremely helpful and they may be great networking opportunities for you.
- Have Multiple Versions of Your Resume. One size does not fit all when it comes to your job search. You need to have a few versions of your resume and customize them to fit the job for which you are applying. You may need to modify the objective or your experience to highlight your qualifications based on the requirements for the position. Not taking the time to do this could be the difference between getting a call back and being rejected.
- Know Your Value. Spend some time assessing the skills, experience and strengths you offer to an employer. Be able to articulate how these can be leveraged by the organization. Practice describing those assets on interviews.
- Think Outside the Box. Just because you have always worked in one industry does not mean you cannot utilize those same skills in another industry. Do not limit yourself. Think broadly about your skills and how to apply them in different positions and businesses.
- Be Flexible. This economy is one of the toughest we have seen yet. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the length of time it takes for people to have success in their job searches has increased sharply during the recent recession and ever since. Consider what you are willing to compromise, whether it is salary, position on the corporate ladder or benefits.
- Utilize Networks. If you do not ask, you most certainly will not receive. Talk to and contact as many people as possible. Tell them how they can help you. Leverage social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to attend networking functions. If you are not sure where to find local networking groups, they are often listed in local newspapers or on meetup.com. You can even do an online search for networking groups in your region.
- Stay Positive. While this can understandably be difficult to do, it is a huge asset. The bottom line is that companies want people with positive attitudes, not those who will drag down the team. A positive attitude can make all the difference in getting hired.
- Set Goals. Each week set specific job search goals. For example, this week I will send out 20 resumes and contact 10 people. Find a way to reward yourself when you meet those goals. Setting goals is helpful for staying disciplined and keeping your chin up during this difficult transitional period.
- Take Care of Yourself. Job hunting is stressful. Eat regularly, exercise, relax and sleep well so you have the energy to work on the other nine tips for job hunting.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
- Talk to the boss. It is always best to attempt to resolve the issues with the individual first, unless you are seriously concerned about retribution, retaliation or misinterpretation. (In that case, you may need to get someone else involved.) Be polite and focus on your needs. Tell the boss what you need in terms of direction, feedback and support. Keep your cool. While it may be tempting, pointing out that bad boss lacks management skills is a counterproductive tactic and will not help you meet your goals.
- Ask how you can help the boss reach his/her goals. Make sure that you listen well, have clarity on the objectives and provide the necessary assistance for reaching those goals. This approach may help your boss to recognize that you can achieve goals together as a team.
- Talk to your colleagues. If your colleagues are having a similar experience with your boss, bouncing ideas and suggestions off each other that may help create a more tolerable situation for everyone. If your colleagues are not having a similar experience with your boss then there may be tension based on a specific situation or a personality conflict.
- Seek a mentor. If you are not receiving the opportunity to enrich your knowledge and experience in your current environment, seek someone out who will help you find that fulfillment. It is often helpful to choose someone, either another manager or a more skilled peer, who understands the situation with current manager.
- Go to your boss’s manager or Human Resources and ask for assistance. This step is to be taken only if you have tried the other suggested actions without any resolution. You can go to your Human Resources staff first to gain advice or perhaps to rehearse a conversation with your boss. If the Human Resources staff or the boss’s boss takes action on your behalf, you may never know the details of that conversation because it is considered confidential. However, you should allow for some time to pass for the actions to have their desired impact.
- Go to the boss’s manager or Human Resources with your coworkers. If nothing changes despite your best efforts, draw together coworkers who also experience the behavior. This will show the breadth and impact of the behavior while eliminating the possibility that they may not believe your claims.
- Ask for a transfer to another department. You may want to take this step if you have sought a resolution without success but you want to remain at the company. If you determine your boss simply cannot or will not change seeking a change of manager or a department transfer may be in your best interest.
- Think about beginning your search for a new job. If a transfer or promotion is unavailable and you have taken the above steps, you may want to begin looking for other opportunities.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Here are some real life telltale signs of a horrible boss:
• The Micromanager has difficulty with delegating and is constantly double-checking employees’ work just to make sure it is being done to their satisfaction. A Micromanager pays excessive attention to minor details. These bosses are unable to develop other people because of their own need to be in control.
• The Poor Communicator offers little or no direction, forcing employees to guess what this boss wants. This lack of clear direction or expectations leads to frustration and lower productivity levels for both the employee and the supervisor.
• The Bully feels that intimidation is going to gets results. Bullies have a tendency to lose their cool with employees. They have a “their way or the highway” type of attitude and are easily dissatisfied with their employees.
• The Saboteur is one of the worst types of leader because they take credit from employees when it benefits them. On the other hand, if things go wrong, the Saboteur is quick to place blame an employee. As a result, Saboteur’s employees usually wind up feeling taken advantage of and unmotivated.
• The Emotional Wreck has a tendency to flip-flop in attitudes towards employees, whereby one moment everything seems fine and the next moment the employee can do nothing right. Employees are never sure what to expect in the workplace and ends up “walking on eggshells,” which causes employees undue stress.
In these economic times, many employees have no choice but to stick it out with a horrible boss. In fact, over half (59%) of those who said that they have a horrible boss stayed in their jobs, according to the OfficeTeam study.
Yet Leaders are the people who need to wholeheartedly embrace the changes necessary to take advantage of the strengths of employees, despite their own inherent methods of managing others. If leaders can actively partner with employees and delegate responsibilities effectively they will empower employees with the opportunities and resources necessary to utilize their strengths.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Today’s “ideal” men feel more of a conflict between family and the workplace; a strain which did not exist to the same extent previously. Men who still believe in traditional gender roles may feel out of touch in today’s family-centric world while those who are family-centric may feel that their workplace does not accommodate their lives. Interestingly, the same levels of conflict were present regardless of whether a spouse’s salary is lower, higher or equal to the man’s salary.
Not surprisingly, the more time a man spends working, the more he has a potential for feeling conflicted between work and family. This internal conflict is enhanced by technology, as there are many more ways for work to be handled outside of traditional office hours. These advancements have softened the line between work time and family time, perhaps creating additional stress for the “ideal” man.
The study shows that men who tend to make work a priority over family (those in more traditional values) are more likely to feel this work-family conflict than men who put family of equal or greater priority. Let me be clear that this is not implying that men with traditional values love their work more than their family, nor does it imply that those with more egalitarian values are not interested in having successful careers. Those with more traditional values may just feel added stress of maintaining their place on the corporate ladder while also being present at home.
Three in four fathers feel that they do not have enough time to spend with their children, and their conflicts vary by the age of the children. Not surprisingly, fathers of very young children and fathers of teenagers are more likely to feel conflicted, as those tend to be the most pivotal and trying times for a parent.
So, what can companies do to with this knowledge about the new male mystique? I believe that the key is getting to know your employees on a personal level to find out what they need and expect at work. The study shows that there are two items which would make a significant difference to men in today’s workplace. First is the ability to engage in a conversation with supervisors about family issues without being looked down upon. The second is the option for workplace flexibility without being perceived as a sign that employees are more focused on their personal life and less committed to their job. What we have learned from this study is that work-family conflict is as much a men’s issue as it is a women’s issue.
Workplace culture needs to signal that it is safe for men to be open about their conflicts without harming their opportunities for advancement. By recognizing societal and cultural changes, strong leaders can build up strong employees by leveraging their strengths and respecting their choices rather draining them and letting them down.
- Simple Strategies for Multigenerational Leaders
- Let's Talk, Really Talk
- Are You Ready for Performance Reviews?
- The Importance of Trust on Teams
- Reduce Back-to-School Stress: 5 Quick Tips
- Celebrate Differences in the Workplace
- Leading with Empathy
- Finding Strengths in Others
- What Every Person Wants: RESPECT
- Managing Gen Y Interns: Five Helpful Tips
- Baby Boomers (3)
- Business Issues (12)
- Communication (19)
- Employment (11)
- flexible work arrangements (2)
- Generation X (3)
- Generation Y (3)
- Generations (12)
- Job Hunting (1)
- Leadership (12)
- Manager Tips (16)
- Performance (5)
- Performance Reviews (3)
- Reduce Stress (2)
- Teamwork (3)
- Traditionalists (3)
- Women (1)
K HR Solutions President Kim Huggins helps transform individuals and corporate work groups into effective leaders and results-oriented teams. Kim’s thought-provoking services and programs are custom-designed to meet your needs. Kim is also a nationally recognized trainer and speaker on the topic of Understanding Generations.