Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Undermanagement an Epidemic?

Welcome again to this latest installment of Tidbit Tuesday, where I've rounded up the latest in career news and put it in one convenient corral for you to take a look at. As always, you little doggies should feel free to herd any good workplace tips my way. (Can you tell I watched "High Noon" last night?)

I'm so outta here: The Miami Herald reports: "Not long ago, workers considered midcareer sabbaticals perks for those who could afford time off to indulge in trips to Australia or backpacking through the Himalayas.

But now that success is measured by who can log the most hours, the sabbatical is making a comeback as a antidote for burnout. A growing number of workers want to disconnect from their jobs and recharge. And, for more of them, it's not just a pie-in-the sky dream.

Just as teachers get the summer off to regroup, more employers, big and small, are stepping in to help their employees slow down, unplug and unwind -- for from four weeks to a year.

'Companies find if they don't do something, their workers will burn out and leave, or worse, burn out and stay,' says workplace consultant/speaker Bill Blades.

Among the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work, 22 companies boast of offering fully paid sabbaticals. The Society of Human Resources says the percentage of large companies that offer sabbaticals has doubled in the past five years."

A muffin can work wonders: BNET breaks down the nitty gritty on what you need to win at office politics:
* Thirty bucks every few weeks for the occasional lunch with a colleague to build and maintain relationships.
* An hour a week, give or take, for coffee breaks, lunches, and impromptu chats in the hallway — time for you to offer help, ask for it, or socialize with people whose relationships you value.

Top campfires fill up fast: Nancy LaPook Diamond, founder and president of CampJobs.com, said young people who would like to spend their summer working at a camp should begin making contacts now.

"It's not too early to look for a summer job for next year," Diamond said. "Camps are posting positions, and young people who want to get the most in-demand camp jobs should move now to get ahead of the game."

The American Camp Association reports that 1.2 million people found jobs at summer camps in 2007. These include not only young people, but also seasonal employees like teachers and school nurses, who obtain summer camp jobs as a way of supplementing their income.

Calling Martha Stewart: Portfolio.com says that "Passive and disengaged bosses who chronically undermanage don’t get nearly as much public attention as bullying bosses who bulldoze their way through the office. But according to some business consultants and experts, they can be every bit as damaging to a company’s morale and productivity."

This "undermanagement" is being called "an epidemic,” with many managers intimidated by a culture of political correctness, red tape, and potential lawsuits. Laid back managers are seen as causing more problems than the tough boss who makes everyone toe the line.

Staying connected to the mother ship: Teleworkers who are proactive and get their accomplishments and their faces in front of their bosses as often as possible are actually thriving in the telework environment, says MSNBC.com. And they’re also taking advantage of all the technology out there making it easier for employees and managers to connect. Webcams, video and audio conferencing, instant messaging and, of course, e-mail, are all becoming telecommuter lifelines.

Some suggestions to make sure telecommuting doesn't hurt your career: attending key meetings in person; a willingness to reschedule telecommuting days; touching base with co-workers at least once a week; making sure goals are clearly communicated with the boss; and an "office buddy" who will make sure you receive office news via e-mail.



No comments: