Improve Employee Morale with Better Break-Room Etiquette



You’d be amazed how employee attitudes are shaped by a lousy break room – dirty dishes, spoiled food and thoughtless co-workers.

But you can enhance your employees’ morale and job satisfaction if they can enjoy sitting in a room relaxing over coffee, snacks and lunch.

Imagine how little time the best employees will want to use such a room. So you might want to consider encouraging a break-room etiquette environment.

Bear in mind you need to be pragmatic. Employees won’t want to clean the break room every day of the work week.

Ask employees to be empathetic with each other – how they’re using the break room and how it affects the feelings of their team members.

Rules or policies should be made clear so employees understand what’s expected. Depending on the size of your staff, display a friendly set of reminders for everyone to see.

More points to consider:

1. In-person employee questionnaires

Try asking employees for their opinions. That’s a great way to learn what your employees like and dislike, such as what they think is evenhanded and what they want from their peers.

Once you know their opinions, you can create and share break-room policies.

2. Noise

Many employees, who don’t have a private office, appreciate the opportunities for a mini vacation – having a place to go to relax and to get away from work.

Some are likely to enjoy having non-work conversations.

For example, your break room should provide a break from work where team members can enjoy lunch without interruptions – others coming to talk with them about work-related matters.

Ask employees to refrain from interrupting those on break, to save their questions in non-emergency situations or to send emails that can be checked after breaks.

So consider a noise policy. How about establishing your break room to be noise-free or as a spot for friendly conversation?

Space-permitting, consider areas for quiet time or for employees to chat.

You’d have to inform employees what’s expected.

3. Cleanliness

Many people might be concerned about cleanliness of their co-workers. Employees need to know what’s expected to clean up after themselves.

4. Specify responsibilities

Employees have to know expectations about getting rid of old food. They’ll need to understand what’s expected about cleaning the refrigerator and microwave.

It must be arranged equitably.

5. Food labels

Especially if you have a congenial staff that organizes pot luck celebrations or share food, ask employees to label their food they store in the break room for their own personal use.

Why? In congenial workplaces, some workers might anticipate the food is there for their taking.

But when it isn’t, employees are really chagrined when their lunches disappear. It’s a source of irritation.

6. Fresh coffee

Most employees like their coffee. But it’s annoying to visit the break room only to find an empty coffee pot.

Avoid employees having to waste their time brewing a new pot in lieu of fully enjoying their breaks.

Your etiquette guidelines should include a mention about refilling the coffee pot. Another option is to install a single-serve coffee maker.

From the Coach’s Corner, related articles for bosses and employees:

Non-financial Incentives Motivate Most Employees — Want motivated workers? Recognition for good work is appreciated by 70 percent of workers – a great motivator for high performance, according to a study by two companies.

Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips — In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

36 Tips: Develop Confidence to Win an Office Tug of War — For people lacking in self-confidence, winning an office tug of war is easier said than done. Unlike leaders, they unknowingly give away their power. One sign is whether you’re winning hearts and minds at work. For instance, in the event of disagreements, are you able to persuade others?

Why Executives Emphasize Communication Training for Employees — Among human resources training priorities, employee communication is often now more important than skills, say many executives. Two-thirds of executives responding to a survey say communication skills are most needed by certain employees.

What to Do If You’re Thinking about Dating a Co-Worker — Most executives probably cringe at the thought of romances blossoming among their office workers. There are good reasons why. But if you must start an office romance, here are tips to minimize damage to your career.

“Let your personality be your profit and not your punishment.”
-Amit Kalantri


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy nenetus at www.freedigitalphotos.net

HR-Social Media Tips for Best Employee Morale, Culture



At first, conventional wisdom indicated that social media was important to attract customers. Now, we know social media affects far more.

Social media affects your company’s culture – probably as much as the employees who engage in gossip at the water cooler.

It’s true. Your company’s reputation is affected internally and externally by social-networking sites.

stockimagesWhy? You can be either respected or scorned on social media depending on the mood swings of your workers.

But surely, you want to make sure that social media and your culture bond well.

The trick is for human resources professionals and company executives to know how to enhance recruitment efforts and workplace culture with social networking sites.

How do social media affect your business? Not sure? Take prudent steps to capitalize on it.

Here are five HR-social media tips:

1. Learn how social media affects your company’s reputation among your employees.

You need to know what’s going on. You need to monitor social media to learn what is said and what isn’t.

For example, if you engage your employees and show the right amount of appreciation, positive comments will appear on social media.

However, bear in mind employees who are disenchanted are going to be relentless in complaining about your company.

Either way, employees who were previously unaware – of either their satisfied or dissatisfied co-workers – will be influenced by what they see.

2. Check the social-media sharing to develop image-enhancing strategies.

In effect, employees’ social-media sharing brands you positively or negatively. Scrutinize the employee social sharing.

There are about 300 social-networking sites. At the minimum, you need to observe Facebook, Glassdoor, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Develop strategies that will enhance your company’s culture and image.

3. Persuade senior executives to share on social sites.

Google the key phrase, “business leaders on social media,” and you’ll be surprised. Depending the day of the week, Google will indicate the key phrase has more than 100-million search results.

Surely, your executives will see an external marketplace benefit for their companies and for them, personally.

There are also benefits internally. Note that such executives appear more approachable to their employees.

Many employees will feel better about them as a boss. That is, if employees feel they can use social media to connect with company bosses.

Social media affects your company’s culture – probably as much as the employees who engage in gossip at the water cooler.

4. Develop social-networking strategies along with a new company policy.

Social media is a reality. You can either capitalize on it or suffer ramifications by not moving forward.

Join the social-media bandwagon with other successful companies.

By endorsing what your employees are going to keep doing – no matter what you think – you’ll enhance your organization’s internal culture, your image as a desirable employer, and your ability to sell products and services in the marketplace.

However, there are a couple of caveats:

The trend has caught the attention of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which can dictate your social media policy. You need to be aware of a ruling against Costco on social-media policy.

Your company policy also needs to guard against the unprecedented dangers from employees using your company computers for social-networking. Take appropriate safety measures to thwart social-network attacks.

5. Develop and implement an social-media intranet.

Take social media internally. Create a private group on Facebook where only company employees can join.

In this way, employee won’t be mixing their personal social-media sharing with your business.

Another option worth considering is to create another in-house social-media system.

If you do, your employees will be able to communicate with executives, offer tips for company growth, profitable ideas for efficiency, and to have professional-level communication with one another.

Bottom-line

You’ll be using social media to benefit the welfare of your organization.

Morale will be stronger. Employees will appreciate an open communication. They’ll become more aligned with your company’s mission.

Externally on the Internet, employees will be more likely to convey positive information about your company.

All of these are important ingredients for organizational growth.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are links to related articles:

UCLA Psychologists Tell What Triggers People to Share on Social Media — Buzz. Marketers, senior managers, business owners, and consultants crave it for revenue. Career-minded individuals engaged in self-promotion also want it. Another term for buzz is the “salesperson effect.” For the first time, we learn how ideas are spread, what messages go viral on social media, and how to predict it.

Understanding Customers — Social Media Humbles Companies — Marketing is the understanding of your customer for the cost-effective process of selling the right product or service at the right time and at the right price. Inexplicably, Verizon joins the list of big companies failing to understand how poor research and judgment would draw fire from their customers and social media.

Insights into How Twitter Users Can Forge Opinion — If you want to influence public opinion on Twitter, the trick is to get your message out early. Once your message is stabilized on the social medium, it’s too difficult for your competitors to overcome your lead according to research released in 2014. The researchers’ conclusions show how marketers and politicians can achieve greater awareness to influence public opinion.

Make Your Blogging, Social Media and PR Work to Attract Fans — Businesspeople have discovered social media is a work in progress. It takes huge amounts of time, not only to implement innovations, but to succeed.

Tech Trends to Watch in BYOD, Mobile Apps — If you’re like many businesspeople, you’re constantly identifying the trends with the most staying power that will benefit your company. Here are trends to watch in BYOD, an acronym for bring your own devices, and mobile apps.

“Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community.”

-Simon Mainwaring


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Sales Management: Motivate Your Staff in 10 Seconds



All too-often when sales managers are busy, they’re task-oriented. Not to be critical, but they’re focused only on what’s at the end of their noses. For effective management and revenue, the trick is to guard against it.

In part, as a study showed, mid-level managers often feel like monkeys because they have all kinds of pressures from their bosses or from their subordinates.

This means managers miss opportunities in other important job functions – to provide support and to motivate their employees to higher performances. Another responsibility is to motivate employees to offer profitable ideas. 

business meetingIf you want maximum profit, the ideal situation is to partner with your employees.

Employees inherently expect their leaders to be consistent – to behave calmly and perform at a high level.

Employees rightfully expect it and it’s good for morale. After all, high morale among employees propels profits.

Even when you’re having a bad hair day, don’t overlook an opportunity to motivate members of your team when they approach you with a problem.

From the expression on your face to what you say and how you say it, can be crucial. Appearances and words can either be powerful motivators or balloon deflators. It’s your choice to make.

10- second tips for typical scenarios

When an employee comes to you excitedly with good news or a somber face with bad, smile, and stop what you’re doing. Look at the person, put down the phone, your pen or set aside your laptop.

Greet the person with interest, like you mean it – even if you’re troubled by something else.

Listen.

If a person brings a problem, don’t be too quick to respond. Ask: “What do you think?” You’ll help instill confidence in your employee. There’s another self-serving reason: You’ll make it possible to ease your workload for the long term. Effective employee delegation is a wonderful thing.

If you disagree with your employee’s response, you’ll learn what needs to be corrected for the future. In any event, emphasize the principle involved to make it a great teaching and learning experience. Help them to see for themselves.

If you’re confident in the person, consider empowering your employee with “I trust your judgment.”

Avoid micromanaging

If you feel the need to teach without micromanaging, use the phrase, “What if we tried…?” As soon as you can, get out-of-the-way. Let the person assume ownership and develop skills for personal growth. This will ultimately power your brand with employee empowerment.

When an employee faces a seemingly insurmountable problem, ask “How can I help?” This is particularly helpful when a salesperson is trying to satisfy a customer’s reasonable request, but is hampered by your company’s internal policies or politics. The employee appreciates knowing that you listen and understand. It’s a great validating approach.

If your employee is facing a really big obstacle, try: “We’ll figure this out,” but follow through on the situation. Don’t let it drop from your radar. It underscores that you’re a team. It’s reminiscent of the adage, “No man is an island.” No person can exist without others. So, it provides hope to your employee.

In a difficult situation, here’s another great phrase: “What I hear you saying, is…” You’re showing that you’re listening and that you are making an attempt to understand.

Honesty

Honesty can be a great motivator. If an employee can’t solve a dilemma, it’s often comforting for the person to hear: “I don’t know. Let’s find out.” In this age of instant gratification, some problems aren’t easy to solve and require reflection and study. That’s a wonderful lesson for an employee.

If an employee is discouraged and anticipates that you’ll negatively respond, the person feels much better if you answer: “Let me think about it.” And you show thoughtful leadership.

Sales employees hear “no” a lot on a daily basis. Why not brighten their day? Whenever possible, show support with “you’re right.” Another positive response: “I couldn’t agree more.”

If you feel the need to disagree with the person, impressions count. Don’t react with what would appear to be a negative reactionary ruling. Instead, consider the phrase: “Let me play a devil’s advocate…” In this way, you’re criticizing on principle, not the person.

Finally, in 98 percent of every conversation, a manager has an opportunity to boost an employee’s morale with a simple “thank you” or “please.” They should be favorite words in your vocabulary. Good employees will take the cue and use the phrase more often with you, their peers and their customers.

Certainly, these ideas don’t comprise a full list. What has worked for you? Why?

From the Coach’s Corner, additional tips:

“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.” 

-Harvey Mackay


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism



Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

Check your attendance records. You’ll see Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

For good reason, employers often cringe because they distrust the reasons some employees call in sick. 

Absenteeism can be a real head slapper.

But it’s crucial to be open-minded and to consider the perspectives of your employees.

Absenteeism is a red flag that your employees aren’t fully engaged in their work.

They often feel a lack of support from management, and are frustrated with a lack of tools and resources that limit their performance.

This typically results in inefficiency or minimal productivity, high turnover, increased costs in sick pay and replacement employees, and customer dissatisfaction.

Further, high absenteeism is one of the five prime indicators that your workplace environment is toxic.

The other four indicators:

— Your employees aren’t recommending your company to their friends as a great place to work.

— Employees with the highest absenteeism usually lack friends among their coworkers.

— Workers don’t actively support your customer-service initiatives – usually because they don’t love their jobs.

— Your customers aren’t fans of your company, and customer feedback doesn’t meet your expectations.

Check your attendance records. You’ll see Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

Manage the problem

Here are 13 tips to manage absenteeism:

  1. Start by making sure your efforts don’t lead to legal problems. In this litigious society, it’s important to avoid EEOC discrimination suits.
  2. Train your managers. True, they need to know your legal obligations. But train them in employee engagement, and how to deal with disgruntled workers.
  3. Remember the phrase, “Let it begin with me.” It’s important to make certain that you’re perceived as an effective leader, not just a supervisor. Lead by a disciplined example. Be a leader, not a caretaking manager. Remember leaders continuously upgrade recruitment procedures.
  4. Evaluate your culture. It’s not easy to develop a culture in which everyone is on the same page. If profits are at stake, a cultural change is in order.
  5. Understand the root causes and the gravity of the problem. Is it with just one employee or is it widespread among your workers? Try to be patient with individuals. Personal problems are often factors, as are long commutes to work. Carefully recruit workers who live fairly close to the workplace.
  6. Incentivize fewer days off. It’s not always necessary to pay higher wages. Strangely, less-efficient workers take fewer breaks. So encourage them to take breaks and socialize with one another.
  7. Everyone needs a vacation to avoid stress and health problems. Create an annual leave policy and enforce it. That includes not allowing employees to cash out their vacations.
  8. Clearly indicate a policy that complies with FMLA. But you can legally take steps to make certain it isn’t abused, for example, require a doctor’s confirmation for any leave.
  9. Double-down on efforts for employee engagement. Listen to your staff. Let employees know you care about their welfare, and that you appreciate their dedication to the organization. You’ll generate more profits if you partner with your employees.
  10. Discuss operational costs – the link between their attendance and productivity. Explain how their roles affect the success of the organization – from teamwork and morale to customer satisfaction.
  11. Make work fun. Reduce boredom with job enrichment, rotation and cross training.
  12. Be flexible. Try to accommodate special requests or scheduling.
  13. Celebrate business successes with your team. It’s great for team-building.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these related links:

Small Business – Easy Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits. As you might guess, it’s a bigger quandary for business owners that don’t have enough cash flow for raises.

How You Can Eliminate Destructive Conflict for Better TeamworkFor better employee-team decision-making and higher performance, it’s true that constructive conflict works. Usually, the best ideas evolve when ideas are discussed and debated. But when employees fail to exercise self control and their egos get in the way, emotions flare and cliques are formed in the workplace. That’s destructive conflict.

Workplace Bullies May Hurt Retention of All Employees, Not Just VictimsVictims of workplace bullies are less likely to quit than employees who observe the abuse, according to a study by a Canadian university. The 2012 research implies a costly threat to an organization’s teamwork and productivity.

How Not to Worry about Keeping Your Top EmployeesIncreasingly, employers are worried about filling open slots and retaining their best workers, according to a 2012 survey of 526 human resources professionals. Sixty-one percent indicate they’re concerned about retention.

The leader follows in front.


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 





Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Easiest Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale



Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits.

As you might guess, it’s a bigger quandary for business owners that don’t have enough cash flow for raises.

There are strategies you can implement if a valued employee wants a raise, and money’s tight

ambro@www.freedigitalphotos.netIt’s also possible to sleep well and not worry about keeping your top employees.

What about the rest of the team?

What can be done to improve the morale of  employees to perform at their highest possible levels?

Employees, who otherwise have good attitudes, appreciate positive communication.

They like knowing they’re contributing to the welfare of their employer, and that they’re appreciated as an asset to the organization.

To boost your employees’ morale, here are some easy-to-follow strategies:

Start a listening campaign. If it’s not your style it will take some gumption to ask your employees what they want. For example, when planning a staff party ask your workers for their preferences. But you’re a courageous entrepreneur, right?

At the minimum on a indefinite basis, you should smilingly walk the floor twice a day to engage your workers. It’ll only take a minute with each employee. Ask them open-ended questions about their hobbies or how they’re doing. Wait for the answers – be attentive –  eespecially if they indicate they have a problem.

When’s the time to give feedback? You should always give feedback right away – whether a person performed a task well or poorly. Be specific. Make a note about the performance and slip it in the employee’s personnel file as a reminder at appraisal time.

A talented employee with a positive attitude will appreciate it.

Help your employees’ career growth. You can accomplish this without a big expense.For example, help them develop skills by giving them added duties. This will enhance their self confidence.

Besides, a good boss knows how to delegate.

Accommodate their schedule with flexibility. Flexibility is usually appreciated and is a great motivator. Sometimes employees need to leave work early to do an important errand. Perhaps they have a child playing in a championship Little League game.

Share information. Let the employees know how the business is doing – and how their work is contributing to any successes. They’d appreciate knowing if they’re making a difference — or how they can.

Moreover, share your vision for the direction of the company, what’s expected and how the performance of the workers will affect the outcome.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are recommendations for other workplace problems — from improving your teamwork to fixing your culture issues:

How You Can Eliminate Destructive Conflict for Better Teamwork — There are two types of conflict. For better teamwork and higher performance, it’s true that constructive conflict works. Usually, the best ideas evolve when ideas are discussed and debated. But when employees fail to exercise self control and their egos get in the way, emotions flare and cliques are formed in the workplace. That’s destructive conflict.

Workplace Bullies May Hurt Retention of All Employees, Not Just Victims — Victims of workplace bullies are less likely to quit than employees who observe the abuse, according to a study by a Canadian university. The 2012 research implies a costly threat to an organization’s teamwork and productivity.

Four Tips to Motivate Employees When You’re Facing Adversity — Effective bosses have antennas to alert them over looming challenges. If they don’t have such an antenna, it’s important for them to develop one for multiple credibility reasons. Even the bosses of small companies can suffer from image problems externally and internally. Either one or both will adversely affect profits.

Secrets in Motivating Employees to Offer Profitable Ideas — Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace. Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale. Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road.

Is Your Company Underperforming in Marketing / Sales? Evaluate Your Culture — If you’re dissatisfied with your revenue, it’s time for an assessment of your culture’s operation. Why? Superior cultures drive business performance. Specifically, two key elements of culture – innovation and responsiveness – have a direct impact on your company’s sales success. You must be a top innovator to beat the competition, and your teams have to respond and execute strategic planning with cohesion.

Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Workplace Bullies May Hurt Retention of All Employees



Victims of workplace bullies are less likely to quit than employees who observe the abuse, according to a study by a Canadian university. The 2012 research implies a costly threat to an organization’s teamwork and productivity.

“We tend to assume that people experiencing bullying bear the full brunt,” says a professor, Sandra Robinson, who co-authored the study at University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

“However, our findings show that people across an organization experience a moral indignation when others are bullied that can make them want to leave in protest,” says the professor.

Angry WomanTwo surveys were conducted among nurses at a large, unnamed “Canadian health authority.” The academic business school stated that bullying is widespread in the healthcare profession. Nurses are particularly affected.

The results indicate that all of the study’s respondents who witness the bullying of their coworkers are more likely to quit.

In turn, it’s not surprising that bullying adversely impacts productivity, says Professor Robinson, even if the bystanders remain with the organization. That’s because they’re uncomfortable working in such an environment.

“Managers need to be aware that the behavior is pervasive and it can have a mushrooming effect that goes well beyond the victims,” she says. “Ultimately bullies can hurt the bottom line and need to be dealt with quickly and publicly so that justice is restored to the workplace.”

Extent of problem

It’s a widespread problem in business and the public sector. If you Google the keywords, workplace bullying, you’ll see about 4,500 search results.

The Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash. conducted two studies – in 2007 and 2010 – that show the extent of the problem in the U.S.

If you Google the keywords, workplace bullying, you’ll see about 4,500 search results.

From the institute’s Web site, here are some eye-opening study results:

  • In Survey 1, Workplace Bullying was defined as “repeated, health harming abusive conduct committed by bosses and co-workers.”
  • In the single-question survey (Survey 2), Workplace Bullying was defined as “repeated mistreatment: sabotage by others that prevented work from getting done, verbal abuse, threatening conduct, intimidation, and humiliation”
  • 35 percent of workers have experienced bullying firsthand
  • 62 percent of bullies are men; 58 percent of targets are women
  • Women bullies target women in 80 percent of cases
  • Bullying is 4 times more prevalent than illegal harassment (2007)
  • 68 percent of bullying is same-gender harassment

Examples of workplace bullying – overt or subtle – can range from sarcastic managers picking on employees to constantly changing work guidelines.

None of the 50 states has workplace bullying laws.

Obviously, the data from Professor Robinson and the Workplace Bullying Institute is troubling. As a matter of organization policy, bullying shouldn’t be tolerated. Care must be given to the recruitment and screening of managers. Managers need professional training. Bullying victims should seek coaching.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information – for bosses and employees:

6 Steps to Implement a Cultural Change for Profits — If your company is lacking in teamwork, morale is poor and profits are weak, chances are you need to change your organization’s culture. Be forewarned, changing a culture is a monumental chore because it will take strategic planning and super powers of persuasion. Usually, it necessitates an outside participant to assess your culture and to facilitate the changes.

18 Leadership Strategies to Profit from Employee Respect — Even though Wall Street gets ecstatic over productivity growth, merely slashing costs and jobs to create profit is not sustainable for profits. Investors mistakenly believe the earnings for such publicly held companies are good, but it will not last. Workers are realizing they’re not sharing in the wealth. Poor morale will cause profits to plummet, and consumer demand will continue to plunge.

Do You Have A Toxic Relationship With Your Boss? — This may be the 21st century with a cornucopia of management textbooks for bosses, but a significant number of employees still complain about their supervisors lacking in professionalism. That’s according to a study by Wayne Hochwarter, a professor in management at Florida State University.

How to Deal With An Oppressive Employer — In the private and public sectors, organizational performance is strong when employees are managed properly. In turn, employees perform well and they are confident in their employers. So it was disturbing when someone asked me what to do about an abusive boss.

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”
– Peter Drucker


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Employee Morale: Do You Have a Heart as an Employer?



A famous poem, “Desiderata,” which was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, offers wonderful parallels for business. It’s apropos for employers.

Three lines from Desiderata:

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others…

Exercise caution in your business affairs…

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings…

I first heard it in 1971 when it was No. 8 on Billboard. Well-known broadcaster Les Crane, who was a talk-show host on KLAC Radio in Los Angeles, recorded it.

As a young broadcaster I was intrigued for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, I was fascinated by the spiritual approach by Mr. Crane, who was famous for his controversial shtick on radio and TV.

Secondly, the previous year I was deeply touched by the thoughtfulness of his boss, David Croninger, the president of Metromedia Radio. Metromedia was a conglomerate in related industries.

Along with NBC’s legendary news anchor, Chet Huntley, Mr. Croninger was a speaker at my college graduation, the University of Tulsa.

So the memory of Mr. Crane’s rendition of Desiderata along with the gracious sharing of wisdom by Messrs. Huntley and Crane prompt me to ask this question: Does your business have a heart?

Inspiring career advice

Both were accessible to students afterward – a true blessing. The nation was mired in a recession with unemployment approaching 9 percent and the Vietnam War was tearing the country apart.

Amid this, my peers and I were apprehensive but anxious to launch our careers.

Accompanied by an NBC PR person, Mr. Huntley graciously gave me excellent advice regarding my broadcasting career. As a DJ, I had worked my way through college on radio stations, but I was still a porous sponge in wanting career counsel before returning to my home state of California. He explained to me how to make a transition from being a DJ to radio news to TV news.

Mr. Croninger, who as Mr. Crane’s boss, gave me a shot of confidence. I’ll never forget his compliment: “…you are impeccably dressed.”

Wearing a striped tie with a navy blazer and gray slacks, that was heady stuff for an impressionable young college grad. I thought it was a professional appearance for broadcasting, but I wasn’t sure. I appreciated his comment as I was about to call on Los Angeles radio and TV stations for employment. I also enjoyed hearing his comments regarding Mr. Crane, as his employer.

That was heady stuff as both broadcasters were inspirational for my career.

So the memory of Mr. Crane’s rendition of Desiderata along with the gracious sharing of wisdom by Messrs. Huntley and Crane prompt me to ask this question: Does your business have a heart?

12 Key questions

To see if your business has a heart, ponder these 12 questions:

  1. Do you set a good example?
  2. How often do you use the phrases – please and thank you?
  3. Do you compensate your employees adequately and fairly?
  4. Are you kind and precise in giving criticism and direction?
  5. Do you hire and fire fairly?
  6. Do you train employees on an ongoing basis for personal and career development?
  7. Do you maintain a safe, fun working environment?
  8. How about job security?
  9. Do you communicate regularly with employees about the company?
  10. Do you listen to criticism?
  11. Do you solicit ideas?
  12. How do you motivate your staff?

From the Coach’s Corner, here are employer resource links:

Human Resources – Power Your Brand with Employee Empowerment — Are you investing in marketing, but not getting the anticipated return on your investment? If you’re disappointed by your ROI, remember marketing may or may not be the problem. Why? Consider there are two basic reasons for poor profits — again, that’s profits not revenue.

18 Leadership Strategies for Employee Respect — Eighteen strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

Listening Skills to Improve Your Relationships and Business Performance — What counts in communication? Listening skills for discernment and trust. Discerning people are the most successful and listening skills are important for discernment. So if you’re in management but don’t listen, you’re not discerning in human resources and not viewed as trustworthy. As a result, you’ll harm employees’ morale and risk losing them.As Trustworthy Leaders, Great Bosses Have 5 Traits — Trust, or lack of it, is an obstacle to leadership. It’s a mega issue in America. It’s reached crisis proportions. Published polls show Americans distrust their political leaders, journalists and CEOs. So it’s obvious there are countless missed opportunities in politics, the news media and business. A Stanford professor provides solutions.

HR Management: 3 Values to Deliver Top Customer Service — The three values needed to achieve top customer service are easy-to-understand but arduous to achieve. But if your human resources program adopts and implements these values, you’ll achieve enviable organizational effectiveness – a high performance culture – for strong revenue. One key indicator is whether your employees are proud of your organization.

“The worst mistake a boss can make is not to say ‘well done’.”
-John Ashcroft

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance



Studies show many employees are dissatisfied in their workplaces. Employee dissatisfaction, of course, will adversely affect a company’s performance.

The dissatisfaction is global. The trend is likely to continue unless businesses improve their approach to managing their human capital.

A lack of employee engagement means:

— Higher costly turnover

— Less focus on customer service

— Less productivity

— Weak profits

Higher pay and benefits are important to workers. But they’re not the greatest motivators, and employees often have more salient non-financial concerns.

So, the key is to take steps that lead to higher employee morale and performance.

The bottom-line question for you: Do your employees mirror what you expect?

Solutions

Assuming you’ve hired the best talent in terms of attitude and to improve your business performance, here are 15 HR strategies:

  1. Be authentic, not a patronizing employer.
  2. Walk the floor twice a day to engage your staff. Show empathy. Ask questions, such as “How are you?” Wait for the answer.
  3. Demonstrate your listening skills with open-ended questions. (“What is the dumbest thing you on which you’re working?” or “Where is the company wasting resources – in time or money?”) Thank the person and follow up whereever feasible.
  4. Communicate what the company is doing and how it’s performing.
  5. Help employees to understand how they contribute to your bottom line. Show them your company-wide objectives and how their work contributes to your company’s performance.
  6. Give workers a purpose with challenges.
  7. Without being verbose, teach them how you think and why.
  8. Create collegial teams of workers without micromanaging them.
  9. Make employees a CEO of their work. Empower them to contribute ideas and allow them as much autonomy as feasible to make decisions.
  10. Encourage each employee to be customer-focused.
  11. Immediately, show appreciation for good work and counsel employees following sub-par work.
  12. Budget for development and training.
  13. Show flexibility to enhance employee balance for career and personal life.
  14. Establish an employee assistance program. Do what you can to help eliminate the employees’ stress factors so they can have maximum focus on their responsibilities. That includes financial tips. As my dad once told me: “It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you bring home.”
  15. Employees know who their toxic co-workers are. Don’t let the toxic workers hurt your workplace environment.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more management suggestions:

20 Tell-Tale Signs – If You’re Under-Performing as a ManagerManagers can often struggle whether they’re new or experienced. Poor management, of course, leads to poor performance. As red flags, under-performing managers share one of two common traits with ineffective employees.

21 Quick Tips to Avoid the Dark Side of Management — News headlines from Seattle to New York are cause for some serious head slapping when it comes to managing employees. Here’s how to avoid HR troubles.

Human Resources – Profit By Not Letting Your Stars Become Free AgentsLike baseball, it’s important to identify talented performers and then take care of them. Follow these steps – you’ll be rewarded with a grand slam.

Boss Checklist: 16 Strategies for a Competitive Edge — Are you one of the countless businesspeople who needs a good look at your situation? Are you having a good year? Are your employees performing well?

Human Resources: 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations — How should you properly evaluate employees? Make sure you are careful to avoid errors in evaluations. Naturally, you want to praise good performance and discourage bad.

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

-Peter Drucker 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.