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MANAGING STAFF

Losing employees? Toxic workplace? Create a turnaround game plan

By Lynne Curry Productivity cratered many months ago. When you ask managers, “How’s it going?” you hear, “It’s going.” New resignation letters land on your desk every several weeks, with some employees leaving before finishing out their two weeks’ notice. You can’t avoid the truth. You need a turnaround plan, fast, before you lose more employees. Here’s what to know and do. Don’t blame your employees. Sure, some of them may need to go because they’ve become problems or contributed to creating a toxic culture. The major responsibility, however, lies with you. Your own inaction and behaviors fanned toxic fumes. Leadership that wants to “right the ship” needs to get right themselves. Ask yourself, when your employees voice concerns, do they fear you’ll shoot the messenger or believe you’ll act?… . . . read more.

WORKING WITH PEOPLE

You knew she was depressed, but suicidal? Now what?

By Lynne Curry You knew your coworker felt depressed, squeezed by the financial hit she and her husband took when laid off, and the overwhelming pressure when her kids hated school by Zoom. Now, she worries every day that sending her kids to school exposes them to danger. Throughout the pandemic, she made off-hand comments that concerned you, but what she said this morning felt more serious. “With the Delta variant and people refusing to get vaccinated, I don’t see any end in sight. I’m failing my kids by not home schooling them. But they hated staying home, and I was so scattered I didn’t feel I was helping them. I’m worn out and just feel like giving up.” These comments, coupled with how haggard she looks, and the social… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

How to improve employee experience and organizational culture as COVID-19 takes toll on staff

The pandemic dramatically changed how, when, and where work gets done. And while a majority of businesses reported that productivity increased as employees settled into working remotely, for many, it came at the expense of the employee experience. Employee burnout, time spent in meetings, and the number of employees with mental health problems increased, while work-life balance, engagement and morale, and the number of employees reporting high levels of personal well-being decreased. A new report from The Conference Board, Reshaping Employee Experience and Organizational Culture: Lessons From the Tumultuous Events of 2020 and 2021, examines how the events of the last year and a half reshaped both employee experience and organizational culture and what lessons organizations can take away to thrive in the future. The report combines qualitative findings from interviews with… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Making hybrid work: Charting a new playbook for a future-ready workplace

By Lynne Curry Employers thought employees would want to come back to their offices, where they had easy access to equipment, coworkers, and managers. They were wrong. COVID-19 untethered us from our traditional workplaces and many employees don’t want to return. Employees enjoyed the flexibility and freedom, sometimes from micro-managing supervisors, they had when working from home. They discovered they could better balance home and work when they didn’t have to commute or leave home for eight hours daily. When the C-suite consulting firm McKinsey & Company surveyed more than 5,000 employees, it reported three-quarters of them want to work from home two or more days per weekly, with more than half of them wanting to work from home at least three days a week.1 Given this disconnect, if employers… . . . read more.

LEADERSHIP

Embrace on-job learning and listen to employees for more resilient teams

Leaders who encourage their employees to learn on the job and speak up with ideas and suggestions for change have teams that are more effective and resilient in the face of unexpected situations, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Windsor. “A Resource Model of Team Resilience Capacity and Learning” will appear in a special issue of Group & Organization Management. Authors Kyle Brykman, an assistant professor at the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor, and Danielle King, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Rice, studied what makes employees more resilient and fosters learning in the workplace. The researchers specifically examined the interactions of 48 teams from five technology startups. “Understanding what organizations can do to help employees become more resilient is the focus… . . . read more.

Leadership

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 this… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Staffers push back about returning to work

By Lynne Curry Question: We’re getting enormous pushback from our staff to an email we sent out stating that billing and clerical employees need to return to the workplace. At the same time, our organization can’t survive if we let all the employees who want to work from home do so. It’s not fair to our patients or the employees who show up at work. Further, when I call those who allegedly work full time but at home during the workday, they often let slip the fact that they’re not working. I’ve been told, “let me turn down the TV” or “sorry I didn’t answer right away, I was out in the garden.” Those who want to work from home insist they’re afraid they’ll catch COVID if they return to… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Performance reviews: Dread them? Ditch them? Replace them?

By Lynne Curry Do you dread filling out annual performance reviews? Do you wonder about their effectiveness? You aren’t the only one with doubts. A Gallup survey reports that only 14% of employees strongly agree their performance reviews inspire improvement.1 According to 58% of executives surveyed, their company’s current performance management system produces neither higher performance nor employee engagement.2 And 8 out of  10 (83%) of HR managers surveyed report that their company’s performance assessment systems need to be overhauled.3 What’s wrong with most reviews? They don’t fix poor performers. Some managers fear giving negative ratings and may give problem employees “meets expectations” or higher ratings. This leads some mediocre employees to feel “I’m doing everything right; I don’t need to change.” This can result in legal difficulty should the employer later… . . . read more.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Burnout building for 43% of workers, research shows

Many workers are worn out and ready to make up for lost vacation time, new research shows. More than 4 in 10 professionals surveyed (43 per cent) said they are more burned out on the job today compared to a year ago, up from 33 per cent in a similar 2020 poll. The new survey by global staffing firm Robert Half shows employees experiencing increased fatigue, with 42 per cent blame it on a heavier workload. 1 “For the past 14 months, many professionals have dealt with increased workloads, longer hours, minimal vacation time, and juggling personal and professional responsibilities,” said David King,  senior district president of Robert Half. “With burnout clearly on the rise, now is the time for organizations to encourage their employees to prioritize mental health and well-being,… . . . read more.

WORKPLACE WELLNESS

Survey: 60 percent of US workers concerned about their mental health in pandemic’s aftermath

Amid growing anxiety about the pandemic’s impact on wellbeing, a new survey finds that US workers rank mental and psychological wellbeing as one of their biggest wellness concerns. Despite these worries, The Conference Board survey reveals that participation in programs including mental health resources and Employee Assistance programs has dropped. On the upside, the nationwide survey found that most respondents continued routine doctor’s visits to some degree during the pandemic—although women struggled more. Employees also report that they aren’t suffering in silence: An overwhelming majority feel their supervisor genuinely cares about their wellbeing—a likely basis for their comfort speaking of wellbeing challenges at work. Conducted from early to mid-March, the online survey polled more than 1,100 US workers representing a cross-section of people across industries, from lower-level employees to the CEO. Key findings include:… . . . read more.


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