Checklist for Introverted Managers Who Want to be Leaders



OK, so you can naturally assume that achieving strong financial results is a sign of a good manager.

However, the true sign of good management is the healthy morale of your employees – whether they’re happy, motivated and productive every day.

If you’re an introverted manager aspiring to be effective as a leader, here’s a checklist:

1. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses

Just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you can’t adapt and be assertive and outgoing when the situation warrants it.

But it’s vital for you to list and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, so you know what you need to do to maximize your strengths and learn skills to fill in your gaps.

It’s also important to learn enough about yourself so you know when to venture outside your comfort zone as an introvert.

In other words, stick to your roots but know how to spread your wings.

2. Focus on inspiring employees

Even as an introvert, you can be accomplished as long as you connect and inspire your workers to follow you.

Demonstrate you have faith and trust in them to get their jobs done right. Autonomy is important.

Assign responsibilities to them and give them opportunities to achieve goals. Micromanaging does not work. You don’t want nervous employees.

Reward them for jobs well done, and invest in them and show that you care.

Show them a career path. Provide benefits such as job shadowing with other employees in higher positions, a mentoring program, one-to-one coaching and tuition reimbursement.

Give them a purpose and explain why they matter to the organization, and include them in the big decisions by asking for their input.

3. Manage employee perceptions of you

Don’t give away your power. The typical landscape of a business is where extroverted managers are often automatically assumed to be true leaders. That’s not necessarily true.

So, convey to employees that your quiet demeanor is all about you being introspective – that you’re contemplative and reflective.

4. Avoid people-pleasing and set boundaries

The natural tendency for introverted managers is to overcompensate in compassion. However, you must establish boundaries about your time and how to communicate with you.

Walk the floor twice a day to observe and chat with your team, and ask how they’re doing and even ask them if they had a great weekend or sick child.

But you don’t want everyone to feel it’s OK to stop by your office on every whim. Invite them to schedule meetings with you.

5. Ask the right questions

Insure that your employees open up to you. Ask open-ended questions vis-à-vis close-ended questions.

This helps insure you get complete responses, not just yes or no answers.

6. Be an active, attentive listener

Inspiring managers aren’t necessarily great public speakers but they are patient listeners.

The most inspiring people usually let others do 90 percent of the talking. You want employees to fully share their ideas, opinions and thoughts.

This will bring out your best qualities: Convictions, clarity, compassion, confidence and decisiveness – in other words, your quiet authority.

7. Encourage blue-sky sessions

A blue-sky session is an euphemism for brainstorming. In this way, online or offline, you will cultivate creativity and resourcefulness.

8. Continuously build authentic relationships

Get to know your employees well. Help them make good decisions and reach their career objectives.

You’ll be seen as a leader with discernment, empathy and predictability.

9. Use your talents to prioritize well

Leverage you strong listening and problem-solving skills to prioritize well with your employees. Organize your conversations to focus on the real and most-salient issues.

10. Lead from behind

Bear in mind that leading from behind does not mean abdicating your leadership role.

It means facilitating your team’s efforts in encouraging their leadership skills.

Make certain employees stay between parameters while utilizing their collective genius – letting them go ahead in decision-making and actions for long-term sustainability.

11. Budget time to figuratively recharge your emotional and physical batteries

Because you are constantly in the hot seat of management, you should take time to regroup.

Whether you close your office door for a 15-minute meditation away from your team or take a walk at noon, you must treat yourself like your computer.

Reboot to relax the chatter in your head for clarity and perspective.

From the Coach’s Corner, for productive management, here are more strategies:

Management: Coach Your Employees to Better Performance– In talent management, coaching, counseling and giving feedback is of utmost importance. But it’s a difficult challenge if you don’t have a coaching culture.

Management – How to Improve Accountability in Your Company– If business and tepid growth have affected your outlook, take a look at your human resources and consider a couple of questions. If you don’t like your answer, here are eight solutions.

Strategic HR Management for Retaining High Performers– You must build your organizational capabilities if you want to create an environment that will retain high performers. The way to accomplish it is to be committed to strong results with specialized retention initiatives for your talent.

Management Strategies for Productive Applicant Interviews– You must be assertive – ask the right questions and listen intently to cut through the morass of canned answers to get the answers you need to make good hiring decisions.

Management/HR Tips: Checking References of Applicants– Even if you believe you’ve found an impeccable candidate, you must conduct precise reference checks. If you don’t, you risk paying a high price later.

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

-George S. Patton


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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.




HR: Avoid Bias in Evaluating Top Employees Who Backslide



Management of employees can be the most challenging with rollercoaster emotions. That’s especially true in employee terminations.

Employee terminations are the most stressful and legally treacherous events for any human resources professional or manager.

Naturally, if you find it necessary to terminate employees, you must be legally and morally prepared with a paper trail that show your documentation in your evaluations of them.

The five most-common reasons to fire employees:

  1. Lack of productivity
  2. Toxic behavior
  3. Cannot cope with change
  4. No call or no show
  5. Customer and supplier complaints

But what about high performers who decline in their work?

Don’t be too lenient with talented employees with a history of strong performance but who decline in their work. Document every event in any downtrend of performance.

Inevitably, many terminated employees will file claims accusing you of discrimination.

So, it’s vital to be mindful of your biases when you assess the performance of employees. Don’t be misled about your high-performing employees. Sometimes, their performance decline.

If they are given excellent reviews but there are is no documentation of their declining performances, you risk legal trouble.

To reiterate, when a previously high-performing worker starts to go south, you must avoid playing favorites. Be very careful to document the person’s waning performance.

Their past excellent reviews don’t mean you’re stuck. The person is not impervious to scrutiny and unassailable.

Before terminations, ask yourself three questions

  1. “Am I following all applicable laws?”

You should be diligent in your human resources paper trail. That should include progressive discipline and counseling.

Be careful in what you do, say and write. If there’s any doubt, check with an expert. Actually, it’s a good idea to do it anyway.

  1. “Am I acting on facts and irrefutable information?”

Take and use copious notes.

Employees are entitled to know the answers to three questions:

  • What’s expected of me?
  • How am I doing?
  • What’s in it for me?

Don’t allow your behavior to become less than polite.

  1. “Am I fair and compassionate?”

Follow the Golden Rule. Treat employees as you would like to be treated in a termination by a world-class employer.

If an employee is not expecting to be terminated, remember the fault does not entirely lie with the worker. It’s your fault. 

Appearances

To avoid appearances of discrimination or favoritism, you must be 100 percent objective with all your employees. Show how each of their performances are improving or declining.

All too often with older employees, companies face accusations of age discrimination.

Take notice the very day an employee starts missing goals or otherwise performs poorly. Don’t risk firing a worker after giving a sudden negative review after years of excellent reviews.

Should you find it necessary to terminate an employee, be prepared:

Present evidence that you had discussed errors and poor productivity, requested improvements in the person’s performance, and to conform with your company’s objectives and plans.

Yes, it’s kosher to terminate employees who fail to adjust in this Digital Age.

You can rest assured that courts don’t automatically condemn your decisions in human resources.

What judges, juries and the Equal Employee Opportunity Commission want is to see is your documentation that you’ve discussed performance issues with your employees.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant articles:

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. What are the best ways? Here’s how to avoid making those classic mistakes.

For Best HR Performance Reviews, 10 Sample Goal Phrases — A well-written set of performance goals work to motivate employees and help them to focus better on their responsibilities. They must be written with the right phrasing so they inspire performance and don’t invite costly lawsuits.

10 Best Practices for an Online Employee Handbook — Companies that don’t convert their employee handbooks into electronic documents are missing noteworthy opportunities in human resources. Conversely, businesses that switch to a digital format accomplish at least five HR goals.

Management: 7 Tips for Success if You Must Layoff Employees — Companies typically make two short-sighted errors in a business downturn. They slash the workforce and marketing investments. To the contrary, it’s important to place a maximum value on your human capital and avoid layoffs, and to expand marketing.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. If you’re so accused, here’s what to do.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

-Benjamin Franklin


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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.





Time Management Tips for New Bosses



Managers, especially new managers, risk burnout from not managing their time effectively.

New managers are naturally ambitious, but succumb to burnout because they try to do-it-all in performing their personal duties as well as in managing others.

It’s best to learn the important concept of displacement and how to say no at work. Displacement means if you’re doing one task it prevents you from doing another.

Prioritize A, B or C

When you get a request or project, prioritize its effect on your staff and company – starting with big-picture goals and responsibilities.

Judge if it’s of low importance, so visualize its importance. If it isn’t unimportant, put it in the C category or just say “no.”

Normally, you’ll need to decide on the seriousness, urgency, productivity and growth as they impact your organization.

Delegation 

Many new managers don’t yet understand the intricacies of delegation, which is an important part of leadership. Delegation is a fundamental driver of organizational growth.

Managers who use best practices in employee delegation are more effective in leadership.

Twelve-hour workdays don’t usually help the company succeed nor is it conducive for a balanced personal or family life.

If you’re just launching your career in management in a small company or in your own startup, it’s usually best to wait in starting a family until it’s obvious you’re on your way.

Be careful about meetings

Many meetings are a time-waster.

Make certain a meeting has an agenda. If you have the option to decide whether to attend, determine whether you can add or learn something from the meeting.

If you’re scheduling a meeting, have an agenda. Plan to engage your employees in energetic, inspiring staff meetings to improve performance.

Sometimes people in business need a creative place at which to have productive conversations that are in out-of-the-ordinary locations.

Perhaps you have an employee whom you need to counsel. Or you have a peer that needs encouragement. For discussions on difficult issues, try walking meetings.

Hiring employees is expensive. So it’s important to use the right tactics in probation meetings for new employee success.

If you’re responsible for client relationships, you need to make certain they thank you regularly, pay your invoices promptly, and respond well to your recommendations.

If they don’t, strategize for effective client meetings.

Regularly evaluate your schedule

It’s important to audit your calendar and do some fine-tuning when necessary.

You’ll find that some meetings or activities are no longer relevant. That’s why it helps to look at your calendar before the start of the month.

Decide which duties are no longer appropriate or are a time-waster for you personally. Again, delegation might be applicable for some activities.

Also, budget time for activities that are necessary on which you might tend to procrastinate or overlook.

Make lists

Don’t make the mistake of being put in the position of being a slave to your email inbox or always having to put out fires that could have been prevented.

Be assertive. Plan your schedule.

Again, prioritize A, B or C. Incorporate your projects, goals, and tasks.

And depending on your responsibilities and sector, categorize your lists and line them up horizontally. Bundle projects that are related in one way or another.

By late Thursday every week, you should be able to know your plans for the following week.

Make your job fun with “blue-sky” thinking

It’s boring and a beginning to burnout, if you omit fun. Build fun into your plans – work that you’d love to do.

You’ll enjoy more energy and inspiration. Remember in this day and age, it takes discipline to create fun, too.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant management tips:

So You Finally Got Your First Management Job? Now What? – There are 10 principles every new manager needs to know and use.

7 Management Tips – Communication with Difficult Employees – Multiple problems including loss of profit results from ineffectively dealing with difficult employees. Here are seven Biz Coach tips.

Management – How to Improve Accountability in Your Company – If business and tepid growth have affected your outlook, take a look at your human resources and consider a couple of questions. If you don’t like your answer, here are eight solutions.

Management: 5 Most Common Reasons to Fire Employees – With difficult employees, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. Here’s what to do.

Why Women Are Better Prepared than Men for Management – Many women are better prepared as managers because they have emotional intelligence — a desired characteristic for successful management. Here’s why.

“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”

-John D. Rockefeller


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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.




Management Strategies for Productive Applicant Interviews



In practicality, you must be careful in interviewing applicants. Obviously, you should avoid asking illegal questions while being polite.

You must be assertive – ask the right questions and listen intently to cut through the morass of canned answers to get the answers you need to make good hiring decisions.

Here are five strategies:

1. Review your legal limitations

Naturally, you already know what you can do legally. But remember your due diligence. Prepare so that you don’t make mistakes.

Your focus should be on performance – how applicants would perform for your company.

Moreover, caution everyone on your team who will be involved in the interview process to be careful.

You and your colleagues should review what questions you can ask and shouldn’t ask.

Typical questions to avoid asking:

  • Do you suffer from any disabilities or disabilities?
  • When were you born?
  • Are you married, divorced?
  • Do you have children?
  • Do you intend to have children?
  • What are your plans for daycare?
  • What about your debt? Do you have debts?
  • Do you own or rent your home?

2. Adequately prepare for interviews

Look for the right traits. Thoroughly review resumes to screen for qualifications. Plan your approach.

For instance, give thought to what you would want to learn about the applicants and their potential for the welfare of your organization.

3. Plan your list of questions

Spontaneity is not necessarily a good thing when evaluating candidates. Interviews succeed when they are informative but success results when conversations are well-planned.

Adhere to your list of questions. Anticipate asking the right follow-up questions.

4. Ask open-ended questions

If you’ve identified potentially good candidates, shape the conversation into a dialogue with the applicants doing most of the talking.

To learn, you must listen probably about 90 percent of the time in your interviews. That means not asking questions that prompt yes or no answers. (The best applicants will also be appreciative.)

If the applicant pauses before answering your questions, wait. Pause. Wait for the answers.

Carefully watch the applicants’ body language and facial expressions. This will divulge a lot to you.

5. Don’t let your personal biases blind you

Certainly, soft skills are important. But don’t be misled.

Many managers make the mistake of being unduly influenced by extraneous or irrelevant matters. For instance, if you’re a football fan, a candidate who loves football isn’t necessarily qualified.

Keep focused on qualifications and how applicants can add to your organization.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Hiring An Impact Person Starts with Screening Resumes — 5 Tips — If you want to hire an impact person, your hiring process is really important. The place to start is using best practices in screening resumes.

Hiring for a Small Operation? Conduct Behavioral Interviews — Whether you run a small operation in a big company or you own a small business, you’re wearing many hats. So you need employees who can successfully wear multiple hats, too.

Risk Management in Hiring: Pre-Employment Screening Tips — Here are two questions about hiring: 1) what’s the biggest mistake companies make in hiring employees; and 2) what’s the biggest legal obstacle employers face in hiring? Here’s what to do about background screening.

Increase Profits by Hiring Talent with the Best Trait — You’ll increase your odds for profits with high-performing employees with the right culture — if you hire for the right personality trait – enthusiastic people. That’s right. Look for people who have the makeup to being committed and who will care for the welfare of your company. You’ll increase your chances for the strongest results.

Need to Hire a Professional? Advertising Tips to Attract the Best Talent — Whether your business has grown so you need to hire a key professional or you’re replacing a person, there are certain advertising-recruitment tips to use. To avoid wasting your time, you must plan.

Check Your Motives before Hiring Sales Employees – 11 Tips — With many companies desperately in the hunt for sales revenue, it might surprise you to learn that their predicaments are often self-imposed. Why? They hire the wrong sales employees.

“Often the best solution to a management problem is the right person.”
-Edwin Booz


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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.




For Best HR Performance Reviews, 10 Sample Goal Phrases



Do you struggle to write the right phrases when giving performance appraisals? If so, you’re not alone.

Naturally, the first step is you must correctly identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. You’ll accomplish this goal by avoiding 12 typical errors.

However, in employee-performance reviews, many managers struggle in trying to think of the right phrasing that actually motivate employees.

The reasons all stem from fear.

Because of fear, the reasons range from worrying about an employee lawsuit to paralysis from analysis in not knowing how or what to write.

Much has been written about preferred skills for managers.

We always talk in mundane terms for the need of managers to convey a vision, achieve goals and to foster growth and well-being for a work-life balance.

Seldom do we talk about courage – a critical characteristic of effective managers.

Employee appraisals are far more than just evaluations.

When implemented well, they serve as opportunities for organization growth because they increase individual employee productivity.

As every manager knows, a well-written set of performance goals work to motivate employees and help them to focus better on their responsibilities.

But they must be written with the right phrasing so they inspire performance and don’t invite costly lawsuits in this 21st century litigious society.

Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person. You must say the right things in difficult situations with employees.

Courtesy of Business Management Daily, there are 10 recommended phrases for managers to use in performance reviews.

They are from “2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals” by HR executive Paul Falcone.

The 10 phrases:

1. To encourage initiative: “Seek ways to assume responsibilities beyond your current job description.”

2. To require punctuality: “Be on time for all meetings, which shows you respect your colleagues’ time.”

3. To foster a better attitude: “Ensure that your tone, body language and other nonverbal cues convey the proper respect and attitude toward others.”

4.To improve communication: “Anticipate what your manager will need to know, and provide that information.” For managers: “Keep team members informed of each other’s actions.”

5. To spur creativity: “Build relationships among peers that foster collaboration and discussion of new ideas.”

6. To boost customer service: “When we lose a customer, follow up to discover what we could have done differently.”

7. To nurture diversity: “Appreciate the unique perspective, skills and experience that each person brings to the team.”

8. To improve planning: “Begin projects by identifying all the resources required, including staff, funding, materials and other support.”

9. To promote better listening: “Show by asking open-ended questions that you are engaged in conversations.”

10. To foster leadership: “Discover the problems that prevent team members from performing at the highest possible levels.”

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks for relevant strategies:

HR: Is it Time to Rethink Your Marijuana-Testing Policy? — For HR departments, it was once-unthinkable: Deleting Marijuana from the list of drugs in workplace drug-testing programs. But should you? And what should you do about your handbook policies?

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. If you’re so accused, here’s what to do.

3 Crucial Tactics Are Needed to Maintain Your Culture — As your company grows, you can expect growing pains and threats to your culture. Whether you create it or not, your business culture happens. There are at least three steps needed to fashion your culture the way you want.

Best Employee-Handbook Values to Avoid Legal Issues — Neither you, nor your company and nor should your employees be relying on an employee handbook with illegal or antiquated policies. Here are employee-handbook values to consider.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.”

-Andrew Carnegie


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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 Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Employer Tips: How to Deal with a Visit from ICE



A visit from ICE – the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement – is a cause for concern.

Of course, there’s no need to panic if you’ve already taken the right precautions to avoid legal hassles with ICE.

However, if you haven’t completed your due diligence, you risk massive fines.

Worse, historically employers and their HR employees have also been jailed for violations.

So not only do you have to be diligent in organizing your I-9s, you have to be very diligent in your response to a notice of inspection (NOI).

Your response sets the stage for communication, either effectively defending your company or possible negotiations and a settlement with ICE.

Assuming you sanction your receptionist to accept and receive important documents like an NOI, require the person to immediately notify you and/or your second-in-command and your human resources manager.

Your attorney should advise you and take the lead. Otherwise, only a designated manager should have further contact with ICE.

You’ll be required by law to respond within three days – 72 hours.

What NOIs mean

ICE wants to see:

  • Your I-9 forms for both current and recently terminated employees
  • Payroll records
  • List of current employees
  • Information regarding the company’s owners

If an ICE agent shows up at your office with an NOI, here are two strategies:

1. Interfacing with ICE 

Don’t be lulled into thinking the person is on your side. Don’t let the ICE agent trick you into saying something that could be used against you later.

Assume the agent is there to build a case.

Be civil, honest, brief and thoughtful. That also means being careful what you say – like you would in a courtroom – don’t say more than is needed.

Don’t rush the process even if you’re confident. Take your full allotted time to respond.

Your immigration attorney should audit your paperwork.

Additionally, your lawyer should help you respond by interfacing with ICE – for the audit and any extenuating circumstances.

Ideally, you have been thorough in your planning.

However, if you’re unsure about anything mentioned in the NOI, it’s businesslike within the three-day period to ask for two things: Elucidation and confirmation of your request and ICE’s answer.

(Again, your attorney should be involved.)

2. Paper trail … paper trail … and paper trail

Accuracy is vital and make certain you make a list of the information you give ICE.

The ICE audit won’t be conducted at your office. It will be on ICE’s turf – the government office.

Consider giving the agent a carbon copy of your I-9 forms with supporting records. Then, ask for a receipt of your list and documentation.

Finally, keep careful notes of any verbal communication, and document all details in an e-mail or letter to ICE.

From the Coach’s Corner, more HR tips to avoid legal problems:

Employee Records: Which Ones to Save and for How Long — You don’t want to keep unnecessary employee records. Nor do you want to make a rash decision on whether to destroy records. Here are the laws you need to know.

Management/HR Tips: Checking References of Applicants –– Even if you believe you’ve found an impeccable candidate, you must conduct precise reference checks. If you don’t, you risk paying a high price later.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations –– As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Management: 5 Most Common Reasons to Fire Employees — With difficult employees, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. Here’s what to do.

With Fraud Running Rampant, How HR Can Help Prevent It — By taking alert measures, human resources can play a major role to put a dent in the global epidemic of fraud in the workplace.

Tips for Handling Your Employees’ Wage Garnishments — Handling wage garnishments of your employees’ paychecks – including communication – is a very sensitive issue. Here are four management tips.

“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.”

-Warren Bennis


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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.




These 13 Red Flags Are Signs Employees Dislike You



Your employees might not tell you that they hate you, but there are many signs that will tip you off.

There might be reasons for it. Whether you’re lacking in soft-communication skills that create warm fuzzies or you’re simply an out-and-out tyrant, either way your employees will think you’re a bad boss.

You’ll be in the dark if they want to make sure they keep their jobs.

However, you’ll find out what employees think about you if you learn to enhance your EI, or emotional intelligence.

That’s the first step whether to improve your communication skills or to learn best practices in management.

(Scroll down to the Coach’s Corner for helpful hints.)

Obviously, it’s best if employees respect you. They’ll have better morale which leads to creativity, teamwork, productivity and profits.

If you’re a manager it also minimizes the likelihoods of you getting fired, or with employees filing complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If employees dislike you, here are the red flags:

1. Your instinctive feeling

Consider what your gut tells you. Perhaps you don’t know why you’re uncomfortable, but you simply feel something’s amiss with your relationships.

2. Employees aren’t enthusiastic

If it appears they’re not enthusiastic about pitching in on projects or they don’t seem diligent in their work, that’s a sign.

3. High rate of tardiness, absenteeism

Employees, who are often late, take long breaks, leave early or don’t show up at work because they’re sick or stressed, it’s often because they don’t like your company.

4. Employees avoid you

People avoid a boss when they feel intimidated or they don’t like the person. For instance, employees might turn their back when you’re nearby or head for the stairs when you’re near the elevator.

5. Poor eye contact

If you have an employee who maintains good eye contact with others but not with you, it’s not a good sign. Weak eye contact makes it easier for them to hide their contempt for you.

6. Employees don’t smile around you

If employees habitually don’t smile when with you but smile or laugh with others, you’ve likely got a problem.

A related omen: If employees stop smiling or joking when you enter the room. They obviously don’t feel comfortable with you.

7. You’re not included in social events 

If you’re not invited to happy hours or other get-togethers, your employees indirectly are telling you they want to minimize their time spent with you.

8. Negative body language

You know what it means when someone constantly folds their arms or when their eyes glaze over when you talk, right?

9. Employees are abrupt

Try an experiment by cordially greeting your employees. If on Monday you ask them how their weekend was or how their day is going, if they always say “fine,” you’ve got troubles.

10. Their preferred communication is email

Unhappy workers will minimize their personal contact with you. This is especially true if their emails don’t have a greeting, such as “hi” or “hello.”

11. Their office door is usually closed

A frequently closed door usually means the person is on the phone looking for another job, commiserating with friends or family, or asking someone for advice.

12. Consistent disagreement

Aggressive personalities are less likely to avoid you. But they don’t refrain from conversations because they want to argue with you.

It’s also possible they aren’t afraid of personality clashes because they’re sick and tired of working for a tyrant. Whoa.

13. Employees are quitting without offering a good reason

To paraphrase an axiom: People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their boss. If, on exit interviews, employees don’t cite a reason, it’s often because they don’t like or respect you. Ouch.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant topics:

How to Grow Your EI for Leadership Success — Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

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.

10 Tips to Plan for Your Critical Discussions with Employees — Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person. Here are 10 tips.

‘That’s the Way It Is’ – Often a Lazy Reaction to Employees — When employees question your policies, don’t let your ego dictate how you react to them. Consider it as though they’re merely questioning you. They just might be positive change agents for you. So here’s how to profit from change agents.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided.


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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 imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

10 Tips to Plan for Your Critical Discussions with Employees



Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person.

With under-performing employees, these are critical conversations. They can be a challenge.

Certainly, you want to get the right results. Saying things the wrong way can escalate into a lawsuit.

In difficult conversations with employees, here’s how to manage the risks:

1. Don’t procrastinate

If you have a poor-performing employee, deal with the situation as quickly as you can.

Keep in mind the employee probably anticipates that a discussion is forthcoming.

Certainly, you want to solve problems right away.

With an employee who has a poor attitude, you also might be dealing with a person who is intent on a pre-emptive strike against your company.

Avoid the appearance of being retaliatory. So prepare:  Document the need for the discussion, and why and when it’s scheduled.

2. Prepare documentation

Spend adequate time preparing documentation. There are two documents you’ll need: 1. Your talking points for you to use. 2. Paperwork to give your employee.

Initially, give the employee the paperwork – whether it’s an appraisal or memo. Give the person time to read it.

3. Include illustrations

Don’t generalize. Provide specific examples about the employee’s behavior or performance. If you’re minimizing the number of examples for now, say so.

There two reasons for providing specific examples.

You don’t want to unknowingly give ammunition to the employee for a lawsuit. On the positive side, however, you might be opening the door for the employee to improve.

4. Don’t discuss the person’s intent

Stay calm and don’t speculate. Don’t get into the person’s possible intentions or motives. That’s irrelevant and too difficult to prove, and it only gives the employee more ammunition against you.

Certainly, you want to be helpful to the person, but again don’t get into intent or motive.

To be supportive, you can say something like, “We want you to be successful.”

Don’t ask why the person is underperforming – whether it might be a physical or emotional problem – or the person’s work-life management issue.

If you do, more than likely you’ll be opening the door to an ADA disability claim.

Focus on results.

If the employee mentions a condition, disability or a religious belief, get ready for a longer discussion.

5. Don’t make any excuses

Be careful and don’t make any excuses or admissions. Certainly if the company is at-fault, the employee should not be reproached.

But don’t try to soften the blow of a criticism by saying something such as, “It’s the company’s fault as much as yours.”

Management shouldn’t take responsibility unless it’s appropriate.

6. Be careful about your verbiage

Avoid the appearance of bias. Take every precaution to be objective. That means being careful not to use words that might lead to a discrimination complaint against you.

Focus on principles, not personalities. Don’t label the person.

If you label the employee as “rigid,” you’ll be giving the person an opportunity to disingenuously claim that you’re either discriminatory on either age or on gender discrimination, or both.

7. Don’t speak with certain forms of finality

Eliminate any opportunity for the person to accuse you of making exaggerations or being untruthful. Avoid saying “always” and “never.”

Trust me, the person will come up with exceptions and will be able to point out you’re making inaccurate statements. That will spell legal trouble for you.

8. Prepare to listen

Allow the person to respond. Your employee might make valid comments.

With good fortune, the person will offer reasons for the behavior or performance. This might open the door for improvement.

Take good chronological notes as the person talks. Be very cognizant of what is said and what isn’t.

For instance, if the person doesn’t talk but later claims it was discussed in the meeting that you did something unprofessional, your notes will be instrumental in denying any legal liability.

9. Don’t engage in small talk

Don’t casually converse with the person. Be respectful, but start by mentioning it will be a difficult discussion. Then get to the points you want to cover.

Be very careful. Don’t ask about the person’s health or family.

You might be trying to do the right thing, but if you show what you intend to be empathy you’ll find yourself headed for a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

10. Outline your expectations

In addition to specifying your concerns about the person’s performance, carefully explain what you expect for the future.

This includes your objective. Hopefully, you’ll save the employee and get a strong improvement.

If not, you’ll have a documented record of the discussion.

Good luck. Do these things and you’ll minimize any legal danger.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

Workplace Bullying – Tips for Victims and Bosses — Workplace issues include bullying. It’s a widespread problem for employers and employees, alike.
Here are valuable tips for both employers and workplace victims.

Management: 5 Most Common Reasons to Fire Employees — With difficult employees, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. Here’s what to do.

“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.”

-Warren Bennis


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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 imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements



You might want to review your current human resource policies.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Why?

Employers are still falling into trouble with the federal agency.

Managers are aware of the EEOC dictates on leave, but ostensibly aren’t fully aware of the circumstances that require it. That includes how much leave should be allowed.

ID-10041427For instance, the EEOC hammers away at equal access to leave.

All employees should receive the same consideration – when disabled employees desire leave under leave policy – that goes even for employees who want leave for reasons that don’t relate to disability.

If you give an employee without documentation paid time off for any reason with little notice, all employees must be given it.

On the other hand, if you require documentation for sick leave, all other employees must provide documentation.

FMLA

Employers have been sanctioned after they haven’t granted unpaid leave under ADA guidelines if workers request after they have used up their leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The EEOC also requires additional unpaid leave even it isn’t covered by company policy – unless it would be an undue hardship on the company.

Plus, after maxing out leave, employers must consider allowing more unpaid time under the ADA.

Duration of leave

Employers must consider granting leave as a “reasonable accommodation” whenever employees ask for intermittent or continuous under the ADA.

The EEOC considers leave as a reasonable accommodation only if the company allows an employee to return to work after exhausting the leave. In this instance, it isn’t considerable reasonable if an employee asks for indefinite leave.

When a worker estimates the date of returning to work, the employer must contemplate if the leave would cause undue hardship.

The company must consider whether or not an additional request to extend the person’s leave would create undue hardship.

The EEOC doesn’t specify what constitutes undue hardship. Each employee and the employer is situationally different.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

HR: Is it Time to Rethink Your Marijuana-Testing Policy? — For HR departments, it was once-unthinkable: Deleting Marijuana from the list of drugs in workplace drug-testing programs. But should you? And what should you do about your handbook policies?

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. If you’re so accused, here’s what to do.

Effectively Manage ADA Issues in Your Facilities and HR — Disabled persons have had both valid and invalid complaints about the workplace. Such complaints concern your facilities and human resources program. Here are strategies to consider implementing.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

HR Tips to Avoid Legal Hassles with Immigration and Customs Enforcement — Employers have been having problems with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Here’s how to avoid issues.

Why Companies Fall into the Management Lawsuit Trap — Small and many big companies are ripe for EEOC complaints. The majority of lawsuits targeting management usually stem from a half dozen poor practices. You’ll get into trouble using these six bad practices.

Strategies: If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight — Many companies don’t have a compensation policy. And your company might be like the majority of small businesses or nonprofits in this uncertain economy – having difficulty funding even merit raises. So what’s the right thing to do with a valued employee who asks for a raise, whether or not you’re the final decision-maker?

“When you straddle a thing it takes a long time to explain it.”

-Will Rogers


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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 Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

How to Increase Conversion Rates of Online Job Applicants



Your business is not alone when it comes to the high costs incurred in the recruitment of job applicants online. Most job seekers get frustrated and quit in the middle of their online applications.

When job seekers quit the application process you lose in the recruitment of some of the best talent. Plus, your word-of-mouth recruitment is hurt when the applicants complain to their friends about your process.

So, poor online conversion increases your recruitment costs.

Lengthy applications do not weed out weak applicants. The opposite is true.

Strong candidates have a good sense of self-worth. They know their time is important, and they are fully aware they’ll get multiple job offers. They’re the quickest to quit the process.

Applicants are online at any hour of the day or night.

1452928274zkwuyIncrease your conversion rates with 10 tips:

1. In your messaging to the right candidates, explain your team and company culture, and adequately explain to applicants your WIIFM statement – “what’s in it for me.”

2. Keep in mind that your application is being viewed in multiple formats – desktops, notebooks and mobile devices.

Among Millennials, the vast majority use smartphones. So be user-friendly.

3. Keep a balance in what’s convenient for you and what’s convenient for applicants. Minimize the length of the application process.

Try to reduce your application process to as few as five minutes.

4. Strategically decide what information you need initially to screen applicants. That would include their names, contact information, and resume or LinkedIn profile.

Avoid asking applicants to click on five or six screens upfront.

5. Don’t cause repetitive steps. After applicants have inserted a resume, they resent having to re-insert it again into an applicant tracking system (ATS).

“Recruiting talent is no different than any other challenge a startup faces. It’s all about selling.”

-Vivek Wadhwa

6. Some employers require candidates to create a career-site account and an ATS account. Don’t require applicants to log into more than one account.

7. To help reduce your recruitment time and costs, remember you obviously won’t hire 99.9 percent of applicants. So don’t ask everyone to provide references.

Wait until you decide to hire a candidate before you ask for references.

8. If you use a cost-per-click pricing model, lower your costs by simplifying your application form.

9. Note the length of your application form is inflated on tablets and smartphones. Consider allowing applicants to apply with their LinkedIn profiles or resumes from Dropbox.

10. Pay adequate attention to your job descriptions. Include all pertinent details, which should total a minimum of 250 or 300 words. But don’t include unnecessary words or details.

From the Coach’s Corner, more recruiting tips:

Critical HR Recruiting Strategies for Business Profit — By developing strategic recruiting plans, human resources professionals will make significant contributions to the bottom-line profit goals of their employers. So, it’s imperative to innovate in your recruiting processes and market your strategies to senior management and hiring managers.

HR – Do you Partner with IT for Top Online Recruiting? — If you’re talented in recruiting the best talent, talented applicants will appreciate your talent. That underscores the need to partner with information technology in online recruiting.

HR Trends: 12 Ideal Perks for Recruiting Top Millennials — Welcome to the new world of employee recruitment as Millennials are replacing Baby Boomers. Work-life balance is the No. 1 priority for Millennials – ages 18 to 33 – especially those who are parents. Here’s how to recruit around the trend.

How to Rock Your Human Resources with Employee Referrals — Admittedly, there’s a myriad of ways to recruit great employees. But no recruitment option surpasses a well-executed, strategic employee-referral program.

Write Better Job Descriptions to Attract Best Talent – 16 Tips — To inspire the best candidates to apply for your opening, there are at least 16 strategies to incorporate in your job description.

HR Management: Think Like a Sales Pro to Recruit the Best Talent — One-size-fits-all approach to recruiting employees is not a strategy. You and your peers in human resources might be enamored with technology, but job candidates want more focus on the personal touch. That necessitates thinking like a sales professional.

“Recruiting talent is no different than any other challenge a startup faces. It’s all about selling.”

-Vivek Wadhwa


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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.

 



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