Tag Archives: management

Warning! Difficult People Ahead

You may love the work you do, but if you don’t like the people around you all day, chances are you’ll grow to dislike your job. I’m talking extreme here, incredibly annoying co-workers who start to make your daily life a misery.

It’s rare that you get to pick your co-workers, so you need to learn how to handle them. And as HR, you need to be able to help other employees manage their relationships with different people in the organization. Not everyone gets along. Some personality types can really rub one another raw. So what can you do?

Turns out there are positives to the different types, not just negatives, so take a look at some of the positives.

Narcissists: (We’d better start with them, as they’re not the best listeners….) They can actually be motivational, if they’re a boss or executive. (so just annoying in a colleague) The key? Learning to share praise, making your own contributions subtly known and ensuring that the narcissist doesn’t rule your work life.

Office Gossips: Believe it or not, gossip can be a force for good. Gossip can make offices run more smoothly and improve productivity, helping to keep underperforming workers in line while fostering camaraderie. As HR, though, it’s up to you make sure that you keep lines of communication open so workers aren’t gossiping about inappropriate topics. Get more help from our resources Effective Management of Workplace Gossip (a guide) or Taming Toxic Chatter, Gossip and Backstabbing Busybodies (a recording).

Workaholics: Rule-bound, with high standards, workaholics can be constructive, inspiring colleagues to be more dedicated.

And if this isn’t enough? There are strategies to handle specific types. Once you identify someone’s type – and that’s usually pretty easy, go ahead, try to pick out the narcissist in the group! – you can start applying the appropriate strategies for that type. Check out C4CM’s Managing Difficult People at Work for in-depth techniques you can apply immediately.

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Are You Maximizing Your Millennials? – infographic

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Young Gen Y Managers Get Bad Reviews

What do you think of your newly minted, late 20s manager?

Heh. No one else thinks much of her either!

A recent suvey by E&Y revealed that Gen Y managers are seen as entitled and out for themselves. This is important, because they’re actually moving into management positions at a rapid rate.

Entitled workers, those who feel they are owed things from their organization and that their excellence is a given, are less likely to lead teams effectively and advocate for subordinates. A 2010 study by Paul Harvey, then an assistant professor of management at the University of New Hampshire, found that entitled employees are more likely to feel frustrated on the job and to lash out at colleagues.

Partially, this is down to inexperience. But it’s also a generational shift, and companies need to be cognizant of it, and take steps to help your entitled Gen Y managers succeed.

Want a good boss? Look for a Gen Xer – they rated even higher than the Boomers did. Those slackers…. good for nothing! Except management positions.

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What Makes A Good Manager?

It’s like obscenity – you know it when you see it. Here, a quick guide to quantifying it ….

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Management Styles Are Shifting

In his book Leading The Charge, retired U.S. Marine General Anthony Zini described the progression of organizations. A generation or two ago, the organization could be like a rigid machine where the movement of one component directly affects the other part in a standard uniform manner. Today’s companies are increasingly like living organisms moving fluidly in an ever changing pattern.

Young managers and people who will be in positions of importance may reflect this style in their managerial approach. Younger generations that grew up with the internet and technology recognize the importance of communication and transparency in business functions.  Their methodology of thought can do well when innovation and responding to rapid change is needed.

Staying Connected

A recent survey by the company Cisco found that connectivity and greater flexibility are becoming more important. The survey of 2800 college students and young professionals found that:

•One of every three college students and young employees believes the Internet is as important as air, water, food, and shelter.
•Two of five said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
•Regarding security-related issues in the workplace, seven of ten employees admitted to knowingly breaking IT policies on a regular basis, and three of five believe they are not responsible for protecting corporate information and devices.

Communication Shifts

Social media is becoming an important aspect in communication both personally and professionally. It provides the ability to collaborate instantaneously with brainstorming and decision making to another level. As important as social media is, it is just as important to implement policies  that make them effective. 

Changing Culture

Some organizations may have more difficulty making change in leadership style that others. Forbes magazine provides three historic mistakes that should be avoided:

1. Overuse of power and underuse of leadership.
2. Begin with a vision but failing to put the pieces in place for effective change.
3. Start to build a program without a clear plan.

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Does Your Office Design Matter?

When devising a strategy to manage employees, most employers focus on the relationship between supervisors or managers and workers. However, the physical design of office space is an often-ignored factor that can play a major role in productivity. In fact, a recent study by Ethisphere Institute and Jones Lang LaSalle that surveyed more than 200 companies from November 2010 to February 2011 revealed that an open office space can both reduce employee misconduct and improve corporate culture. Further, employees who are allowed to work from home may also engage in less employee misconduct. 

Your Office Space Matters

Efficient office design isn’t a minor concern. A 2005 white paper by Gensler London suggested that productivity could be increased by 19 percent on average across multiple industries with more efficient office design. The same paper indicated that in Britain, $236 billion was lost annually due to inefficient office space. Things may be even worse in the US, as the International Interior Design Association (IIDA)suggests US offices are as much as 5-10 years behind Europe in terms of designing productive office spaces. 

Effective Office Design

It’s clear that a well-designed office is an important part of being productive and boosting employee morale. The question then becomes, what does a well-designed office entail? The International Interior Design Association recommends open office space for increased productivity, and the recent Ethisphere Institute study seems to confirm that this recommendation is a good one.  

Ethisphere’s study revealed that, of the 200 organizations surveyed, 60 percent made use of an open concept office space instead of an office comprised of closed-doors and cubicles. Out of that 60 percent, a full 79 percent used open offices for as many as 4 out of 5 employees. Another 68 percent of companies surveyed permitted employees to work from home. In total, from the 200 companies surveyed, 64 percent reported no visible ethical violations, attesting that the open offices created a “see and be seen” mentality that resulted in employees being more likely to follow policies and behave responsibly. 

Gary Wheeler of the IIDA does, however, also recommend that quiet rooms should be provided for employees to work on laptops or make telephone calls, even in an open concept office. 

Takeway Advice

While a redesign of your office environment may not be in the works, it is important to remember that the space around your employees does matter. Having an open office or the opportunity to work from home can boost employee morale and make employees productive and better workers. So, too, can simple things like providing sufficient natural and artificial light, windows that open and thermostats that employees can adjust to ensure their comfort. 

 

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Employee Mobility Important in Small to Mid-Sized Companies

According to a study published by Portfolio.com, 71% of small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) are “mobile businesses” adopting wireless technology to allow their employees to work effectively outside of the office.  

The findings point to the business habits of the rising number of SMB mobile professionals – those who work outside of the office more than 30% of the time.  

“It’s no surprise that advancements in technology are moving at a fast clip. What is a surprise is how much more successful those business owners are who can be rightly called mobile professionals,” says J. Jennings Moss, Portfolio.com’s editor.  

“This tech-savvy group is spending more time doing business outside of a traditional office by staying connected via smartphones or tablets, and are already looking ahead to the next step – cloud computing.”  

  • 64% of small business owners who are considered mobile professionals spend 8+ hours connected to their business via computer, smart phone, or iPad.
  • 88% use social networks, including 60% who leverage social media platforms to market their businesses on a regular basis.  

Obviously with more business managers traveling for sales, and generally working while on the go, there is a valued perk of work mobility for future talent in the workforce. More business professionals are looking for careers that allow them to work effectively out of the office.  

Read the Mobile Enterprise news article

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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