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Communication

Time and stress management

Time and stress management

By on Nov 14, 2017 in Blog, Communication, Performance Management | 0 comments

In today’s increasingly busy workplace, many managers find themselves working longer hours in an attempt to meet the demands and pressures of their position.  This has left many managers feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Do you ever feel stressed and frustrated because of: Missed deadlines and commitments? Forgotten details and lost paperwork? Projects not running as planned? Not having enough time for family and friends? Having too much to do in too little time? If you answered yes to even one these questions, you are not alone.  A major cause of stress among managers is the feeling that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything they need or want to do. Some managers say they choose to work in their free time because it is the only way they can: Have time to focus on important projects. Work without interruptions and distractions. Ensure that important tasks and projects get done. Reduce stress and anxiety during other periods of the week. However, the secret to accomplishing more with less stress isn’t in working more hours – it’s in working smarter.  A key difference between effective and ineffective managers is how they use the hours they have. Time management has long been recognized as one of the keys to ensuring higher productivity and reducing stress by using your time most effectively.  Time management is the personal management of tasks, behaviors, and activities. To ensure effective management of time you must: Work toward professional and personal goals each day. Focus on the important rather than the urgent. Use your most productive time wisely. Allocate sufficient time for the completion of tasks and projects. Take time to plan and prioritize when scheduling your day. Eliminate behaviors that waste time. If you need help improving your workforce strategy, contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Preparing for the 2017 holidays

Preparing for the 2017 holidays

By on Oct 31, 2017 in Blog, Communication | 0 comments

Happy Halloween! It is hard to believe we are already at the end of October and beginning the 2017 holiday season. Rather than list out the various holidays celebrated by different people throughout these two months, we wanted to provide some general reminders to help you plan your holiday season.   We encourage you to ensure that you are being fair and consistent when granting time off or flexible schedules and inclusive if you decide to have holiday themed office celebrations. If you have not already done so, prepare and post holiday schedules now.  Include the dates you will be open for business and the ones you will be closed. If the holidays fall on weekends, address whether you plan to close the day before or the day after the holiday.  If so, make sure you let people know by sending out a company notice with the posting. Some industries, such as medical or retail, may have normal hours and scheduling or even longer hours.  Make sure people are aware of this.  It is completely appropriate to state that you have certain ‘blackout’ periods in which no time off may be granted due to business needs. Keep in mind that there are several religious and other holidays throughout this period, some of which may be unfamiliar to you.  Remember to treat people fairly, even if it is a holiday that you do not know. Check your employee handbook to remind yourself of holiday policies, such as who eligible for holiday time off and holiday pay.  Make sure you understand how holiday pay is calculated and explain it to those employees who will be receiving holiday pay. Do you need assistance with your workforce strategy or other Human Resources consulting needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Common causes of workplace conflict

Common causes of workplace conflict

By on Aug 29, 2017 in Blog, Communication, Performance Management | 0 comments

Conflicts in the workplace can be uncomfortable for everyone and lead to a negative office environment.  Fortunately, understanding a few reasons conflict arises can help prevent the problems and encourage employees and managers to overcome these difficulties.  Some of the common causes of workplace conflict may be: Personality differences.  Employees come from different backgrounds and experiences, which play a role in shaping their personalities.  When employees fail to understand or accept the differences in each other’s personalities, problems arise in the workplace.  For example, an employee may possess a straightforward personality that results in him speaking whatever is on his mind, even if the timing is inappropriate.  This employee may offend a co-worker that does not possess the same type of personality.  The co-worker may feel as if the employee is rude or disrespectful, leading to conflict. Clashing values.  Like personalities, the values of employees differ within the workplace.  A difference in values is sometimes seen when a generational gap is present.  For instance, young workers may possess different workplace values than older workers.  The difference in values is not necessarily the cause of employee conflict in the workplace, but the failure to accept the differences is.  When employees fail to accept the differences, co-workers may insult each other’s character and experiences.  As a result, the conflict intensifies until the right solution is offered and accepted. Poor communication.  Poor communication is often one of the main causes of conflict between employees in the workplace.  This can happen because of a difference in communication styles or a failure to communicate.  For example, a manager might reassign an employee’s task to the employee’s co-worker, but fail to communicate the reassignment to the employee.  This could cause the employee to feel slighted, which can transform into animosity among the two employees and the manager.  Failing to communicate may cause employees to make incorrect assumptions and believe workplace gossip.  Poor communication not only causes conflict but decreases productivity and employee morale. Competition.  Unhealthy workplace competition may be another cause of employee conflict.  Some industries foster competitive environments more than others.  For instance, if salary is linked to employee production, a workplace may experience strong competition between employees.  Competition that is not properly managed...

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The importance of interpersonal communication

The importance of interpersonal communication

By on Apr 27, 2017 in Blog, Communication, HR Consulting, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Interpersonal skills are also known as “people skills”. By forming interpersonal relationships with customers and employees, you are able to acknowledge the feelings of others and convey respect. You can also focus on the positive outcomes of varied viewpoints, while nurturing professional growth. Your ability to realize optimum performance from employees is greatly enhanced by “just being nice”. Communicating appropriately is an essential factor. Seeing yourself as others see you is the first step to improving your interpersonal communication skills. Here are some other ways to improve your interpersonal communication skills. Be more approachable – implement an open door policy; determine if you are perceived as unapproachable and work to resolve; become more involved in your employees’ daily functions. Build rapport – take an interest in your customers and employees; engage in periodic, casual conversations; discuss mutual non-business interests; share your personal interests. Strive to make others comfortable with you – refrain from being overly serious; control your intensity; smile frequently while speaking; use appropriate humor; monitor sarcasm. Develop your ability to make “small talk” – prepare opening statements about current events; discuss the weather; listen for “free” information while others speak; ask questions about the “free” information you heard. Treat others fairly – offer recognition to everyone as appropriate; monitor and avoid favoritism; remain neutral in workplace disputes; explain the rationale behind decisions you or the organization makes. Become more social – widen your group of acquaintances; speak up in group situations; network whenever possible. Be sure to request feedback from a trusted source to determine if you have any areas of opportunity. Do you need help developing your manager’s communication skills or other training and development needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources....

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Barriers that inhibit effective communication

Barriers that inhibit effective communication

By on Apr 25, 2017 in Blog, Communication, Listening, Non-verbal, Speaking, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Several challenging communication issues exist in today’s business environment. A clear understanding of these issues will enable you to overcome these challenges and communicate more effectively. The words you choose can mean the difference between retaining or losing an employee or a valued customer. You must be sensitive to the feelings and perceptions of others. As diversity in the workplace increases, you must avoid words that might stereotype, insult, or intimidate another person. Intercultural communication also presents a big challenge. It becomes challenging when communicating with people from another culture because the same words may have different meanings between cultures. There are three specific barriers associated with intercultural communication are tone differences, word connotation, and perceptions. Tone differences in formal and informal languages generate a message of indifference if used in an inappropriate setting. Word connotations create issues when the same word has a different meaning in another culture. Both speakers are challenged if they do not understand the meaning held by the other person in the conversation. Perceptions are held by people who speak different languages or come from varying backgrounds within the same language. Any given situation can be viewed differently, based on the language used or the cultural background. As a manager, it is your responsibility to be aware of any other possible barriers that inhibit communication between you and your employees. Do you need help developing your manager’s communication skills or other training and development needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Tips on throwing a great holiday party for your employees

Tips on throwing a great holiday party for your employees

By on Dec 7, 2016 in Blog, Communication, Reward and Recognition | 0 comments

With it being the holiday season and end of the year, throwing a holiday party for your employees is a great way to show appreciation for how hard everyone has worked and that you really care about your employees. Here are a few suggested tips from Inc.com on how to throw a great holiday party for your employees this year. Have the party in January – moving the party to January will help you avoid the holiday rush and it will be easier and cheaper to book your venue and find a caterer. Hold the party during working hours and at the office – this option will also save you money from renting a venue and employees don’t have to spend their free time outside of work with co-workers. Throw a potluck – make sure your employees enjoy the idea of a potluck or it could end up being a bust. Another possibility is having the company provide pizza, sandwiches, or any entrée of your choice, and have the employees bring in their favorite sides or desserts. Do something nontraditional – go to the zoo, aquarium, or other local attraction instead of having the traditional holiday party. Don’t exclude spouses/significant others – if you decide to have a Friday night event dinner or party, give your employees the option of a “plus one guest” if appropriate. Don’t charge employees – only throw the type of holiday party that you can afford, whether you order pizza at the office or a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant. Charging your employees will not send them the message that the party is a celebration for their hard work. Provide transportation if alcohol is served – either make arrangements with a taxi company or hire a bus if alcohol will be served at the event. Even though transportation is provided, this does not give employees permission to exhibit behavior that go against company policies and they should still act responsibly. Don’t force people to attend – employees should always have the option to attend a holiday party regardless if it’s at the office or an offsite event. If someone does not want to attend, this is not a sign that they are not a team player and...

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