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MANAGING STAFF

Gen Z: Avoid crucial mistakes when managing them

By Lynne Curry Question: We’re hiring a group of young office interns this summer for a special project and are trying to figure out the best team member to supervise them. We’re thinking someone as close in age to them as possible. Your thoughts? Answer: You’re hiring Gen Z workers, individuals born after 1995. The oldest Gen Z workers are 27, and while similar to Gen Y employees are as different from Gen Y workers as Gen Y employees are from Gen Xers. It surprises many that Gen X managers fare worse when managing Gen Y employees than do Baby Boomer managers, those born prior to 1964. Thus, don’t let age be your deciding factor. Gen Zers crave independence and consider themselves self-directed, even if they aren’t. It’s easy to… . . . read more.

STAFF MEETINGS

Zoom hiders: Camera shy or disengaged?

By Lynne Curry Question: For our mandatory manager meetings, I show up on time so my attendance is noted, and then get through the meetings by multi-tasking. It’s easy enough to hear what’s said as I get other work done. I cover this up by always making a positive comment on at least one of the manager’s proposals. I leave my video off, though, and when the manager chastised me, I compromised by turning it on at the beginning, saying “hi” to everyone, and turning it on anything important is happening, and when I’m speaking. I thought this was a reasonable compromise, so imagine my shock when my manager said my leaving the camera off was a key reason I wasn’t one of the three managers being sent to a… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Roe v. Wade wars in the workplace

By Lynne Curry Question: Our office employs an interesting mix of personalities. In the past, this made for intense discussions about politics and world events, until last week when the U.S. Supreme Court’s potential overturn of Roe v. Wade leaked. The discussion became hateful and resulted in personal attacks. The manager stopped it, but not soon enough. HR then interviewed involved employees. Several said they don’t feel comfortable working alongside several other employees any longer. Now, instead of employees asking each other questions, they email work-related questions through the manager. This is wearing on her and slows productivity. We need to mend what took place and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Our management team has decided if we need to ban all political, non-work-related discussions, we will. Several of… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Negative staff: Is the problem you?

By Lynne Curry The manager called me, completely frustrated with his team. He told me his employees were negative, blamed each other for problems, didn’t communicate with him or take accountability and didn’t buy in to important initiatives. He asked me to talk with his key employees and tell me how to fix them. When I met with him afterwards, I asked, “How honest do you want me to be?” His eyes widened in alarm and he said, “Honest, I guess.” “The main problem on your team isn’t your employees. It’s you.” Here’s what I told him. If you’re the team’s leader, it’s on you As the leader, you set the tone. If as a leader, you focus on “who was responsible for what went wrong?” with pointed “why did… . . . read more.

RETURN TO THE OFFICE

Caregiver caught between employer’s expectations and family’s needs

By Lynne Curry As managers require employees to spend more time at the office, they will encounter special circumstances that require special solutions. Consider the following situation of an employee needing to work from home to provide family care. Employee question: Since our schools no longer require masks, my husband and I decided to homeschool our youngest child. My employer initially made this easier by allowing me to work remotely. Although I needed to run into the office occasionally for an hour or two, it wasn’t a problem because my mother-in-law lives with us. Unfortunately, my employer now insists that all employees work a minimum of three full workdays in the office. I argued with my manager and he insisted it was a matter of fairness that I work onsite…. . . . read more.

STAFF RETENTION

Over half of workers would quit if required to return to office

After two years of office spaces sitting empty, many companies are eager to call employees back for good. In a survey of more than 800 senior managers, more than half of respondents (55 per cent) said they want their teams to work on-site full time as COVID-19-related restrictions ease, nearly unchanged from a similar survey  conducted last year. Currently, 44 per cent of senior managers support long-term hybrid schedules (where staff can divide time between the office and another location) and employees’ ability to choose where they work. Managers at large companies with 1,000 or more employees (54 per cent) are most open to flexibility, according to the survey conducted by Robert Half, a specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm. The risk of an employee exodus Separate research from… . . . read more.

TRAINING

8 simple steps to improve virtual presentations

Today’s hybrid workplace means you may have to conduct training and information sessions for remote staffers. You need to know how to best present yourself and your material virtually, using tools such as PowerPoint slide shows. Consider these tips to ensure your audience gives full attention to your presentation without being distracted by glitches. Format your virtual presentation so it’s easy to read and follow. Use text sparingly on each slide and ensure the text you use is large enough to read. Use visuals/videos that are engaging but also easy to view and follow. Limit the overall number of slides and transitions. Consider sharing your virtual presentation slides separately. If you have the ability, consider sharing your virtual presentation slides or other visuals with your staff ahead of time or… . . . read more.

YOUR CAREER

8 ways to make your meetings zoom by

By Lynne Curry If you dread meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Not long ago, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time,” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. 1. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 2. Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me.” If your meeting attendees know from the start,… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Resignations: It’s not the pay, it’s people problems

By Lynne Curry It’s not the money driving the Great Resignation, in which 4.3 million employees quit their jobs in January, followed by another 4.4 million in February.1, 2 A major research project completed a couple of months ago makes this clear. The MITSloan Management Review researched 600 companies that had higher quit rates than their sector benchmark and assessed vast numbers of employee resignations.3 A toxic company culture is 10.4 times more likely to predict turnover than pay.4 Here’s what researchers learned. Pay was the 16th most important factor in employee retention.5 A toxic corporate culture, which includes poor managerial treatment of workers, dishonesty and a lack of ethics, disrespect, bullying, and abusive or cut-throat behavior, was 10.4 times more important than pay as a reason employees left employers.3,… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Helping your employees help Ukraine  

By Lynne Curry My inbox flooded when I challenged readers “are you brave?” writing about the woman who crashed Russia’s main state news broadcast to protest the Ukraine invasion, and then challenged employers with “what’s occurring in the Ukraine creates widespread grief. Are there ways you can channel your employees’ anger and sense of powerlessness by offering them avenues to respond in humanitarian ways that support Ukrainians fleeing the invasion?” Many employers wrote me and asked “what can we do as coworkers and employers? Here’s how I answered: Employee mental health, well-being and support are within every employer’s scope. As your company’s leaders, you can act with empathy and meaningful support to help your employees weather the emotional impact of devastation in Ukraine. Coworkers can reach out with care and… . . . read more.


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