About Workforce Echoes

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Want Productivity?


This is a lesson I grew up hearing from my mother, a very busy woman. I didn’t fully understand the truth in the statement until many years into my working career. If I need help, I do indeed tend to call very busy people. They are the ones who will enthusiastically help me out. They manage to accomplish many goals and still take on that extra task, attend that extra meeting, help a friend, offer a new idea, or plan that new event. Now, we all know people who SAY they are really busy, but don’t seem to accomplish much of anything. These are your “pretend” busy people. They either don’t have the motivation to do much of anything, don’t understand what “busy” really means, or are just busy running in circles. Either way, these people are not the ones to count on when you need something done.

At Workforce Echoes we have done extensive research on motivation and time management; two important ingredients to getting things done. Watch our blog over the next couple of weeks for tips on hiring, developing and retaining those “can do” employees who you can always count on for help

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Job Hunting?

I met a nurse today while at a doctor’s office. I overheard her complaining that she couldn’t get Craig’s List to come up on her computer. Long story short, she was looking for a job. Red flag!! How many employees in your organization are looking for a new job on company time? More importantly, if you’re the manager, you might want to find out WHY they are looking for another job. The nurse I met today said she was leaving because of a new employee with a bad attitude. She gave me all sorts of examples of how this new employee had insulted her and provided poor customer service to patients. The supervisor in charge of the office had no idea any of this was happening. This nurse didn’t want to complain, so she just planned to find a new job and leave.

A key missing ingredient in this situation is communication. You can’t manage a problem that isn’t communicated to you. This lack of communication leads to clients, like me, getting an earful from disgruntled employees. I wonder how many people this nurse talked to, describing how awful it was to work in this doctor’s office. Not only might good customers walk out the door, never to return, but you may also have good employees walk out while the problem employees stay. Open, honest and frequent communication is vital in ANY business. Maybe tomorrow you could walk around your own office and find out what’s going on. See if Craig's List is up on anyone’s computer!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Parent or Manager?

Have you ever noticed how similar parenting is to managing employees? In fact, I think that an outstanding parent could be a great choice for your next management vacancy!

In both your family and work settings, performance management is an on-going process. Do you wait to talk to your kids till the year-end performance appraisal? Hopefully not. How many children will keep their room neat and tidy if parents don’t monitor it? In turn, how many employees will go that extra mile if no one notices? Similarly, in management or parenting, there must be repercussions when expectations aren’t met. There must also be rewards for outstanding accomplishments and behavior. In both settings you must be sure that your rewards actually motivate and your repercussions actually deter. Just think about the kid who chooses to NOT come home by his curfew since staying out late with his friends is far more rewarding than the one minute of yelling he’ll hear from his mom. In the business setting, think about the employee who would rather sleep late and arrive late to work, since it’s likely no one will notice, than to get up earlier to arrive on time.

How about training and development? Well, again, good parenting practices cross over with good management practices. Many managers will opt to do things themselves rather than take the time to teach an employee, or provide training, so that he or she can do something better on their own. This leads to an over-worked and stressed out manager. At home we’ll see the parent who does EVERYTHING for their child. Again, this leads to over-worked and stressed out parents. Effective parenting AND effective managing involve taking the time to teach and coach on a daily basis. It might seem time consuming now, but it saves time down the road.

There are many more examples. I’ll leave you with my favorite. Your relationship with your child or employee is the key. Destroy that, and everything else will follow. Once trust and respect are gone, your child or employee will no longer be open to your advice, coaching, or guidance.

The next time you’re hiring a manager, you might consider an experienced and effective parent!