Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Forget About Employee Burnout, At Least In One Respect..

There are job performance issues associated with burnout, but using them to determine if your employee faces burnout is not a good idea. This is because these behavioral signs and symptoms are mostly secondary to the mental health issues of burnout underlying them. Also, other problems may contribute to what appear to be burnout symptoms. Avoid this diagnostic examination and pondering because you will make more efficient referrals to the EAP. For example, one symptom of burnout may be dread at getting up in the morning to go to work. You can’t document “dread,” but you can document tardiness. Another symptom of burnout may be resentment toward other employees who love their jobs and are bright-eyed about their careers. You can’t document resentment, but you can document conflict. It is hard to document “lack of motivation,” but it is easy to document incomplete assignments, lack of initiative, or work delays. I am afraid when you search the most effective supervisor training programs, that you will not find this level of insight because the folks who write most of these courses are too far removed from the trenches, the inter-psychic issues of employees, and the hard knocks it takes to deal with the relational issues. However, you will find this material here. Supervisor Training for Management

Monday, May 21, 2012

Feedback Works Both Ways

Employees blossom with positive feedback from bosses, but this works both ways. Don’t hesitate to give your boss positive feedback when things go right. You’ll nourish a more effective and rewarding relationship and contribute to your own job satisfaction by reinforcing what works. Bosses have a powerful effect on employee happiness, so help them out by keeping the communication flowing. Don’t underestimate your role in nurturing a powerful and constructive relationship with your boss. The secret is reciprocity and mutual respect. You may be subordinate in the hierarchy, but what you say and think matter.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Handling Delicate Conversations

Discussing with a coworker the need to correct a personal habit or stop an annoying behavior is an age-old dreaded experience. If you have procrastinated with such a chore, chances are you’ve grown more irritable and frustrated, but is your job satisfaction and productivity also slipping? If so, it’s a good sign to delay no more. Realize that the reaction you imagine getting when you broach the subject is almost always overblown. Thankfulness is a much more likely response from your coworker than shock and horror, so go for a polite style. To proceed, request a private meeting and say you would like to offer some feedback that is difficult to share and that it is personal. This is a buffering introduction to help your coworker be receptive. Share your concern in a direct but calm manner. Always add how the behavior affects your productivity or work environment. Smart move: Affirm the value you and others maintain for your coworker. This won't undermine your goal, and it will add to your coworker’s motivation to change.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Helping Your Employees "Team Up" with You

Help your employees be proactive in coming to you with issues that down the road will cause disintegration of the relationship you have with them. Here are some tips that might fix a bump in the road before it becomes a pothole.

Tell employees to keep track of their successes. Like most people, supervisors can’t remember everything. So ask you employees to give you a list of accomplishments about a month before it is time to evaluate them. This improves the chances the you--thesupervisor will give the employee credit for the work work and the employee will not feel resentment for successes overlooked.

Tell your employees not to be a stranger to you as the supervisor. Tell them to be proactive, to stay out in front, and make a point to involve themselves in work while discovering what you as a supervisor wants most.

3. Tell employees to ask you for positive feedback. You can't baby your employees. Sure, you should try to give them positive feedback and plenty of it, but is also ok for them to say, "Hey, what did you think of the way I handled that crisis yesterday with the Johnson account. So, teach them to come and ask for feedback.  Sure, tell your employees, "It not going to be easy for you to ask me what I think of your work. Tell your employees not to treat you like a parent, expecting them or have them understand their needs through intuition. Use negative feedback to work toward a higher standard. Ongoing difficulties may signal a need for assistance from the EAP, and should training your employees to go get it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stress Management Tip: Better Problem Solving

Sometimes stress management isn’t about relaxation, better eating, getting a massage, or practicing yoga. The best stress management strategy might be a better way to solve a stressful problem. Here’s a problem-solving formula to apply to the root of a problem you face that causes stress: 1) Define the problem; 2) Think of as many ways to intervene as possible; 3) Select the most practical solution; 4) Write goals to achieve; 5) Write objectives under each goal; 6) Select deadlines for #4 and #5; 7) Commit to success (say “no” to distractions and procrastination); and 8) Begin.

When You Don't Mind Giving a Raise

Not all requests for raises are inappropriate, but as part of your supervisory skills training, you may want to add this brief presentation to your bag of tricks. You will need it in the future. You may think the employee deserves the raise he or she is asking for, but regardless, teach the employee to be professional by putting the request in writing using a format that you can take to top management. They will want you to justify it. Make the employee do the work. So, a written request for a grade increase or promotion is more effective than an oral request. Oral requests are easily postponed, forgotten, and argued against. That's the rationale, so tell the employee this. They also put the burden on the manager to “sell" the whole idea to the next level of management. Tell your employee to do the following. Try this proposal outline: 1) statement of original duties and responsibilities for the position; 2) statement of present duties and responsibilities for the position; and 3) identify each new duty and how it demonstrates increased responsibility, not workload. By the way, this is called completed staff work and you can learn about that too. A newsletter to help you learn more skills is FrontLine Supervisor Newsletter. It's now in it's 17th year.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stating Opinions Diplomatically

Whenever you volunteer your opinions or concerns, are you speaking respectfully and tactfully to your coworkers or teammates? Do so and others are more likely to appreciate your tone and heed your views. If you sound preachy or tell people what they should do, your ideas, even if they are stellar, will face a harder sell. 

To state your opinions diplomatically and improve receptivity to your ideas, establish a give-and-take conversational style when you speak with your team. Rather than spout your ideas, ask questions so that others do most of the talking.Listen attentively and show interest in how others arrived at their conclusions. Try it. 

These are powerful engagement skills, and your peers are likely to ask what you think or believe. And along with this approach comes more attentiveness to what you say. Add a quick overview of your evidence to support your opinions when offering your input. Example: “Based on three instances in which we lost a potential customer, I’m concerned that our sales pitch isn't working very well.” The study of how to be effective and productive in business group discussions is called “group discussion dynamics.” It is a highly researched and studied topic. Lessons learned are available to help you improve your productivity and achieve more for your employer. Learn more about it to advance your career.