The Holidays Arrgh Here! How To Handle Employee Time Off Requests…

I️ received a call with an enquiry about the holidays, and time off. No doubt a pain for employers and an avid desire for team…

I️ received a call from a business owner about time off during the holidays. “Everyone wants to take time off at the same time. What’s the best way to handle this during the holidays?” she Dubiously asked.

Time off during the holidays can be a Riff issue for employers, and an emotional desire for team members. Employers fear absence will impact business results. Meeting the demand often prove overwhelming for small business owners who operate in the hospitality, retail, and other industries that service holiday needs.

On the other hand, employees wish to spend time with family, especially those visiting from out-of-town. Let’s not forget the busy preparations  involved, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

So how can we balance the two? You don’t have to be mean about it. I concur with Kim Scott’s recommendation on the topic. Here’s my take on the issue.

  1. The Balancing Act. Try the trade-off. Employees know the drill. Share holiday coverage needs and let them work it out amongst themselves. Only step-in if you absolutely must.
  2. Comp days. Give them half/full day off at less demanding times. You will find this works very well, and shows compassion to those who must work.
  3. Flex-Basket. Try a flex-basket of Goodies from which they can choose. This would include a selection of delights such as lunch, dinner, drinks, partnership with vendors for relaxation/rejuvenation  goodies (e.g. mani/pedi, movie tickets, etc.). Believe me, this works wonders.

So there you have it! Three simple tips that will bring delight to your team, and smooth your business over the stressful holidays.

Noticed anything missing that you would add to best manage this issue during the holidays? Do share!

Cheers!

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Attrition’s Rat Race: Fact or Fiction?

Attrition is Obsolete! Often so many still considered this as a mark of the good. Even me! Why?….

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shared an article by Daniel Sonsino titled Attrition is Obsolete.  In it he discussed the very necessary topic of attrition. Often so many still consider this as a mark of the good. Even me! Why? Because in my capacity as head of Human Resources for a major international pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, boasted of less than 5 percent turnover for years! Wow! What an achievement!

Not so today. Workers in today’s workforce are the least bit Tame. They are restless and not Cloaked as Sinsono argued in the following points:

  • People are changing jobs more frequently. staying with a job from lifetime, then over 4 years, to now less than 3 years.
  • Millennials are restless. Over 60 percent are open to new job opportunities
  • Employment relationships are changing. 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is made up of continent workers including temps, self-employed, and part-timers
  • Talent is in charge. People have more career options and leverage.

Reducing Attrition: What to do?

Reducing attrition rates is like keeping ice solid in the hot sun…it’s futile. People leave for reasons including spouse’s new job, family care-giving responsibilities, or lower cost of living.

Sonsino suggested that employers focus on:

  • Accepting that you will not retain all your employees
  • Focus your efforts on the employees who are most important to retain (i.e. those with the knowledge, skills and abilities critical to your business).
  • Build an alumni network so you can keep track of those who leave. Attract them back when the time is right.
  • Revise HR policies that make it harder for former workers to return. Welcome back boomerang employees with potentially continued vacation, stock options etc.
  • Establish shared accountability. Partner with other executives and when employees leave, counter with an offer letter good for up to 2 years in the future.
  • Devise a workforce composition strategy. Devise programs to attract to full-time status those contingent workers critical to your business. In exchange, also do the reverse.  Move some full-time workers, to contingent worker status.

Does the above bring  an Exceptional level of curiosity and discomfort to your business? Indeed it is cause for concern. If you need help with shifting up your workforce, consider an external partner. It will be worth it.

Cheers!

Radical Steps To Deal With A Bad Boss

We show up everyday doing a job that we don’t like, and then feel like we are losing our mind when we are expected to be productive and profitable.

Get angry! Tell them off on national TV-like that famous weather reporter did! Give them a piece of your mind-like that flight attendant did, then de-planed! Or quietly sneak away never to return again, which unfortunately happens too often.

Though we may smile at these examples, they are real life situations that actually happened. As a HR consultant, I have worked with clients that have had these experiences and more. Because we spend most of our time at work, it would be great for us to really like what we do, and who we have to work with.

Vincent Van Gogh said that he put his heart and soul into his work and lost his mind in the process.  How many of us really feel that way?  We show up everyday doing a job that we don’t like, and then feel like we are losing our mind when we are expected to be productive and profitable. It’s hard. But we keep at it if we are to cover our basic needs to survive, thrive, or for those at the higher levels, fulfill our higher need to self-actualize. 

STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH A BAD BOSS

If you have a bad boss…see qualities in 23 signs you have a Bad Boss, it is not likely that you are going to change them. So here are a few strategies to help you take the steps to work better with him or her.

  • Have an early, upfront conversation about what is important to you in a leader and how you can best work together. In a civil manner, discuss things such as:
    • Leadership style and the coaching you would need to develop.
    • Expectations. What he/she expects from you, and what you expect.
    • Perception. How each of you perceive “success” with regard to the job.
    • What “meets expectations” or “exceeds expectations” look like on the performance-rating continuum.
    • Your current performance

 

  • Be proactive and check in with him or her often to provide reports, or updates.
  • Acknowledge them publicly for their support, especially when they have been instrumental in helping you succeed.
  • If problems occur that escalate, have a conversation with the HR manager to ensure that any complaints are logged. HR will take the necessary steps to help resolve the issue and can serve as a mediator in future meetings.
  • If 360-degree feedback systems, and other anonymous options are in place in your organization, do use them to provide input regarding your concerns.
  • Keep a record of dates, times, and specific examples of issues that have occurred so that you will be able to recall them when necessary.

Essentially, do your best to try to work with the situation you are charged with at the moment. Nothing lasts forever. Things do change sometimes. But by all means, if the horizon really looks bleak in that company, then start the process to move on, especially if  it starts to negatively affect your health. Start the job change process to search for a new opportunity. Take the steps to:

  • Update your Resume
  • Refresh your LinkedIn Profile
  • Connect with a Recruiter
  • Consider other career options

It’s important to heed the caution before you make such Radical change….Making irrational decisions then saying “oh wait”, will be too late.  So be cautioned that you never leave a job without first finding another one. It will be well worth it in the long run.

 

 

 

23 Signs You Have a Bad Boss

 

We have all had to deal with bad bosses at one time or the other throughout our career. We scream, complain, lose the Zing, become demotivated, do barely enough to get by, or inevitably jump ship. If you are dealing with a bad boss here are a few examples of characteristics  that depicts the behavior.

 

 

Common Bad Boss Behavior

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  1. Lack of vision and inability to communicate effectively
  2. Micromanaging
  3. Thinking you have all the answers and that you must have all the answers
  4. Working late everyday
  5. Poor Hiring Decisions
  6. Failure to Admit Mistakes
  7. Takes the credit but gives the blame
  8. Does not Lead by Example
  9. My way or the high way
  10. Mistakes being liked for being respected
  11. Provides little/no feedback or coaching
  12. Shows favoritism
  13. Task-focused vs team-oriented
  14. Embraces the status quo
  15. Being a good ‘doer’ means you will be a good manager
  16. Selects and leads based on “like me”
  17. Ignores diversity of thought or varying opinions
  18. Past focused vs present/future
  19. Lacks courage
  20. Being a friend instead of a leader
  21. Failing to delegate and demonstrate trust
  22. Allowing ego and pride to get in the way of good decisions
  23. Personal agendas/motives

If you are a new manager, reflect on these characteristics. Recognize the signs and plan to change. You will then be on your way to becoming a good leader.

10 Worse Jobs 2016

Hate your job? Hold up, it could be worse. Here’s SHRM’s list of the worst job this year.

1. Newspaper reporter
2. Logger (forestry)

3. Broadcaster

4. Disc jockey

5. Enlisted military member

6. Pest control worker

7. Retail salesperson 

8. Advertising salesperson

9. Taxi driver

10.Fire Fighter 

Common thread is the losing battle with professional growth opportunities, salary, demands on time and the stress associated with jobs such as firefighter. So Keep your eyes open and know when it’s time for a change.

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Employers are Paying More for These…

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We all go through different phases in our lives. Let’s face it, our careers are intertwined in our everyday lifestyle. We strive to be educated whether in a formal educational institution; through our life experiences; or a combination of both. Our dreams, goals, and aspirations range from starting and raising a family, getting our dream home, building our business, and the list goes on. All are intertwined in life’s journeys.

“The U.S. is basically at full employment” …. statement made by CNN Money in their article on employment. Whether or not we agree, jobs have been added….maybe not the ones we like, or at the salary that we want, but that was the finding.

So what are employers paying more for? Here are the top 21 skills gleaned from Money Magazine that revealed the findings of payscale.com money research. These high demand skills give us the best reach for getting a higher salary to advance us to the next phase of our lives. Skills listed in order of highest paid to lowest.

  1. SAS (Statistical Analysis System)
  2. Data Mining/Data Warehousing
  3. Search Engine Marketing
  4. Data Modeling
  5. Contract Negotiation
  6. Software Development
  7. Strategic Project Management
  8. Strategic Planning
  9. Technical Sales
  10. Customer Service Metrics
  11. Financial Analysis
  12. Risk Management / Risk control
  13. SAP Material Management
  14. Business Analysis
  15. IT Security and infrastructure
  16. Lean Manufacturing
  17. Forecasting
  18. Clinical Education
  19. Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing
  20. Systems Troubleshooting
  21. New Business Development

Take a look at the list again to see where your interests lie. Examine your current skills, capitalize on them, or plan to build any gaps. Stay tuned for our next discussion on the Most Flexible Career Skills if you are looking to jump to a new job, or industry.

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Hiring and Dating…The Similarities

hired
Tall, dark, and handsome was he. A sports enthusiast who was popular with everyone. As his interest and approach grew, she was smitten and fell head over heels in love. She left her quiet, loyal, and committed guy for one who was more outgoing, adventurous and fun to be around. Sadly, she looked at the outward appearance but not the heart. Needless to say, as time flew by, so did his interest. He was more of a heartache to be around since his fun loving ways attracted other fun loving pursuers. The rest is history.

This too is true of the hiring process.

hired

Tall, dark, and handsome was he. A sports enthusiast who was popular with everyone. As his interest and approach grew, she was smitten and fell head over heels in love. She left her quiet, loyal, and committed guy for one who was more outgoing, adventurous and fun to be around. Sadly, she looked at the outward appearance but not the heart. Needless to say as time flew by, so did his interest. He was more of a heartache to be around since his fun loving ways attracted other fun loving pursuers. The rest is history.

This too is true of the hiring process. At the outset employers look for those people who are outgoing, people with great resumes filled with the right keywords, and people who excel at interviewing. Minimized are the introverts who require more effort to get the value they are sure to bring at the right price, but difficult to unearth during the recruitment process. So at last after a lengthy process through the maze of online and mobile devices we find just the right one!

But hey… how can we keep ’em? Here are a few Retention tips compiled to help you.

  1. Track Retention. It has been said that if you’re not measuring then you’re practicing. Find out which line managers are doing well and which are not, then you will not know who needs coaching.
  2. Train Frontline Supervisors. People leave managers, not jobs. Train managers to have regular meetings to communicate employee expectations. Spend time with strong performers as well as low performers. Do not punish either group at the expense of the other.
  3. Hire the Right People the first time. Pay close attention to facets like integrity, attitude and integrity amongst other things like qualification, skills and experience. Together these things lead to retention.
  4. Offer Employees More Recognition, Responsibility, and Pay. Be creative. Find ways to recognize employees who meet goals. Experiencing budgetary constraints? Ask your connections to provide VIP tickets to special events or offer discounts at local stores. Also, never underestimate the power of a simple thank you or a well-done note which works wonders. Keep a close tab on industry compensation standards (performance bonus and benefits included).
  5. Find ways to increase Flexibility in Working Conditions. Offer flexible work schedules. Ensure employees are prepared to do what their job requires (e.g. travel, late nights, vacations, and more). Note that overly rigid work rules drive away workers.
  6. Create that Work/Life Balance. Train leaders how to handle workers in stressful positions.
  7. Develop the Right Culture. Create an environment that attracts the right employees. Your company culture should match the type of employee you want to employ, whether you opt for a by-the-book, strict workplace or a more casual, laid-back atmosphere.  Provide a comfortable work environment and culture. Ensure sufficient training, and support new hires until they are able to function on their own.
  8. Let Employees Participate in your Business Planning Process. Bring your team together when experiencing business growth, or changes in the industry. Have Brainstorming meetings to create strategies for new goals and objectives monthly, quarterly, annually and so on. Ask them to come up with 1-2 suggestions in a group or individually. This encourages them to feel important and valued. Most important—it fuels retention!
  9. Use contests and incentives to help keep workers motivated and feel rewarded. These programs can keep employees focused, boosts morale, and makes them excited about their jobs!
  10. Consider hiring a Human Resources Expert if your company has 15-50 employees.

Need help? With over 25 years’ experience managing Local and Global Human Resources, Cameron Calder & Associates Connects Talented People to Successful Companies. Visit us at www.ccahr.com  or email scameron@ccahr.com

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Paid Leave! Paid Overtime! Life’s Good!

FAMILY LEAVE

The United States lags behind over 70 countries now offering Paternity leave (Peck & Covert, 2014). It may take some time to catch up. But the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that major Silicon Valley companies and others have already voluntarily started the trek granting leave benefits to both women and men. Way to go Silicon Valley. Life’s Good! Others will follow.

paternity leave

 

OVERTIME: From $455 to $970 A Week…

OT

Imagine a wage hike from $455 to $970, a week! Workers would be thrilled! The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), discussed the proposed changes to federal regulations that would increase the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. David Mark explained that under the current federal rules employees earning up to $455 weekly or $23,660 per annum, would qualify for overtime pay. However, if changes are made this would more than double to $970 weekly, or $50,440 per annum. No doubt a dramatic boost in take home pay for over 5 million people.  This would certainly be a nightmare for employers who knowingly or unknowingly misclassify some workers, but definitely a dream come through for employees. Fleeting? Maybe. Stay tuned for more on this issue.

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