Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to Get the Best Employees to Stick Around

Get ready to say good-bye to some of your best talent this year.
According to new RainmakerThinking research, employees are unhappier than ever and Founder Bruce Tulgan believes that it could lead to a “sudden spike” in turnover as the job market improves.
In the words of Scooby Doo: Ruh-roh.
Specifically, the survey finds that 46% of employees report that in the last year they’ve felt “stuck” in their jobs and have an unfulfilled desire to head for the exit. In addition, 90% say they’re less committed, are less productive and are less willing to “go the extra mile” or “contribute their best ideas,” Tulgan says.
One of the biggest gripes by employees? Being required to do more work with less support and resources. They also complain about pay and benefits.
To make matters worse, the research finds that those polled are not considered the worst performers, which means that it’s not going to be the bottom-feeders who leave.
So, if you really don’t want to conduct exit interviews with your best performers in the near future, then it’s time to take action and start doing “stay” interviews.
A stay interview means that you sit down one-on-one (read more here)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

3 Keys for Surviving a Terrible Boss

Anyone who has ever worked for a bad boss knows that, despite such lighthearted looks at these people through comics such as “Dilbert” and television shows such as “The Office”, it really is no laughing matter.

I’ve had two really bad bosses in my life, and I can tell you it is truly a painful experience, both physically and emotionally. At times I was depressed, at times angry – and suffered from headaches and stomachaches, not to mention waking at 3 a.m. every night and re-running every horrible encounter through my head.

It’s probably little consolation to anyone caught in such a terrible situation that there are plenty of people going through the same thing, but I think it’s important to show that these bad bosses are at least being exposed more and more to the sunlight. First, there are several websites devoted to outing bad bosses and providing helpful advice to employees going through a rough time.

Second, more press has been given to the fact that a lack of management training means we’re putting ill-prepared and poorly qualified people into these upper positions where they can become abusive.

Third, rising healthcare costs mean that companies cannot afford to have employees sickened by bad bosses, plus face high employee turnover because bully bosses drive away the talent.

If you're someone who works for a terrible boss,  think about how to survive until you -- or the boss -- moves on. Consider:

  • Staying visible at work. While it’s common for the employee to blame himself or herself for the situation, hiding out can hurt a career because it can prevent others from noticing individual talent and contributions. And remember, bullies have often subjected others to this treatment, so their history is probably already known to others.
  •  Keeping focused on the future. While it may seem that you’ll never break free of the boss, chances are good that you will eventually work for someone else, and you want to make sure your performance will impress others. 
  •  Knowing when to draw the line. No one should take abuse that is physical or would be considered harassment or discrimination. Such complaints should be made through formal channels, such as internal grievance committees or law enforcement.

How have you handled a bully boss?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Research: Spur Workers Through "Do Nothing" Option

Want your team to get more done? Then give them the option of doing nothing.
While you might believe you’re giving them free reign to goof off, a new study shows that by giving people the option of doing nothing, you’re actually spurring them into reaching their objectives.
Wharton University marketing professor Rom Y. Schrift and Jeffrey R. Parker, a marketing professor at Georgia State University, found that by introducing a “do-nothing” option, people become even more committed to accomplishing goals.
Schrift explains that while you may assume that having the option of doing nothing will make someone less persistent,  being able to choose actually teaches someone about himself and personal preferences, and that helps the person persist longer when hitting a roadblock or difficulty.
Schrift adds one important element of this method is ensuring that a “not doing” choice “isn’t really desirable” or “relevant.”
“In this case, a manager could add that ‘I don’t really recommend (read more here)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why You Should Get Rid of Your "To Do" List

In 2007, Ari Meisel was diagnosed with a severe case of Crohn’s disease (a disease of the digestive tract) and nearly died. He was in an out of the hospital and told the disease was incurable.
But in 2011, he completed Ironman France and was declared free of all traces of the disease.
Meisel says that he achieved his good health by improving his diet and fitness, but also by finding a way to deal with stress, which he says was a big part of his illness.
What Meisel learned about how to deal with his stress and put him on the road to better health is shared in his upcoming book, “Less Doing, More Living.” He says he believes others can learn from the “less is more” philosophy that he has says can help anyone rid their lives of superfluous work and repetitive tasks that often cause stress.
“Stress is a major cause of inflammation. It taxes our nervous system in a way that is really dangerous when it becomes chronic,” he says. “I created ‘Less Doing’ with the goal of freeing up as much time as possible so people could reclaim their minds, stress less, and do the things they want to do.”
As part of that philosophy, Meisel says he uses the “80/20 rule” differently that most people who see it as a “resource allocation model.”
“For me, it’s a constant reminder to track everything I do,” he says. “Nowadays it’s so easy to track what you eat, how well you slept, how many emails you sent, even your blood markers. With that data comes a lot of power to find places where we can achieve more optimal results.”
Here are some suggestions from Meisel on how to reclaim your time:
  • Track productivity. Tools such as RescueTime can (read more here)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Are Women Holding Themselves Back?

As we recently celebrated International Women’s Day, let's consider:
  • 64% of women have the lowest position in law firms, such as staff attorney jobs, while only 17% garner top spots such as equity partners, reports the National Association of Women Lawyers.
  • While women make up nearly two-thirds of the U.S. workforce and are more educated, they hold less than 20% of leadership positions across all sectors, finds a University of Denver study.
  • Based on median annual earnings for full-time year-round workers, women earned 76.5% of men’s earnings in 2012, finds a Catalyst survey.
While 70% of 4,100 professionals surveyed in 32 countries by Accenture say that the number of women in leadership roles will increase by 2020, there are still problems in female advancement in the workplace.
Do you think women are getting ahead? Your answer may depend on where you work, your profession or your race.  Because even thought leaders can’t seem to agree on what women should — or should not — be doing in order to move into leadership roles.
For example,  Dr. Lois P. Frankel wrote in her book that women undermine themselves in dozens of unconscious ways, such as giving limp handshakes, (read more here)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Manage People You Can't Stand

It’s bad enough if you have to work with people you can’t stand – but what if you manage them?
Well, one quick solution is to just fire an obnoxious twit.
Unfortunately, while that may give you a brief respite, you may soon be forced to acknowledge the twit was actually very talented, and now you have the headache of trying to recruit and train his replacement.
The reality is that you’re going to be required to manage lots of people you don’t like. But it’s your job to manage people and their skills, and that means finding a way to bring out the best in them to get the job done – and not lose your last shred of sanity.
Here are some of the ways you can manage these difficult people and redirect them to more positive behavior as outlined in “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand” by Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner:
  • Root out discontent. If you’ve got an employee who is like a sniper in the bushes just waiting to take a shot, don’t ignore him. If you get a snide comment, address it in a neutral tone. Try asking, “When you say that, what are you really trying to say?” Be aggressive and direct with such an employee to keep the situation from growing worse. Often this will allow you to then direct the person in a more positive way.
  • Stand up to pushy employees. These aggressive types may (read more here)

Friday, March 21, 2014

How to Get New Workers to Love Your Company

You know those cool perks you offer employees like free food? Well, guess what?
Your new employees are not impressed.
A new survey from BambooHR of 1,000 employees who quit a job after six months finds that less than 1% of them say such perks would keep them from leaving.
What new workers want the most – and will keep them with an employer longer – is on-the job-training and mentorship, the research shows.
More than three-fourths (76%) of new workers agree that if they’re to get up to speed quickly and start contributing, they need on-the job training. No. 2 on their list is a buddy or mentor requested by 37% of new workers, followed by 28% who say an employee handbook is helpful.
The survey also finds that 43% say that time and money are wasted on ineffective onboarding processes (most thought at least $10,000 a year is wasted), while 15% of respondents say that poor onboarding is enough to make them consider leaving a job.
“This research emphasizes the notion that companies cannot (read more here)