MEB Resources | News & Tips

Vacationing Tips

July 23rd, 2018 · Comments Off

It’s that time of the year – vacation time! Vacationing is a great way to leave the stresses of work for a while, but returning to work after a vacation can be stressful alone! To save yourself the agony of returning to a negative experience – instead of refreshed and ready to rock, try these few tips:

Before you leave for vacation:

  • Clean up your work space. This will help you feel more productive when you return. (This includes your email in-box!)
  • Make a to-do list for your return. Write out as much as you can to remind yourself where you’re at with projects and what’s important to accomplish when you get back.

On your return from vacation:

  • If you can check your email from home, schedule a little time the evening before you return to work and briefly go through your email, deleting the messages that are not important. This will thin out the emails you have to go through in the morning.
  • On the morning of your return, leave your out-of-office message active until you’re up to speed. That way you can get through your email and start attacking your to-do list without more distractions.
  • Go in early, even if it’s just a few minutes. Chances are people are going to be dying to hear about your vacation – even if it was just a staycation. They’ll want to catch you up on anything you may have missed there as well. By going in early, you’ll dodge others coming in and be able to get started on your tasks.

Take a deep breath – you got this!


Dealing with an abusive boss

April 13th, 2018 · Comments Off

At some point in our careers, we have had to deal with a boss that was abusive. Not exactly physically abusive, but they abuse the power of being a boss. Whether that’s forcing you to do the job of four people in an hour by yourself or micromanaging all of the work you do. It’s not the kindest environment for you to be the best you can be to produce the best work you can produce.  So how do you handle it?

Confront and connect with them. Sometimes people don’t know they’re abusing their employees, set up a meeting to talk about it. Perhaps they respected you and believed that you are capable of doing the work of four people in an hour. A conversation that creates a connection can help them realize what they’re doing and fix it. Make sure this is an open conversation and come with recommendations on how to fix the problem.

Keep calm and don’t do anything crazy. Sure, you may start to feel crazy after dealing with an abusive boss for a while, but doing something crazy will cause more problems for you. It can result in the loss of your job.  Keep things professional, even if your boss isn’t. You’ll thank yourself later.

Document everything and be specific about it – just in case the problem persists and human resources needs to be involved. Save those emails, texts, or any hard proof that this is a problem that needed to be addressed. Save that meeting invite to your boss that involved your conversation about it.


Compliments

March 15th, 2018 · Comments Off

Not too long ago, we posted a blog about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs  and how it can help keep your employees happier. Happier employees lead to better productivity, higher retention rates, and better overall satisfaction with their job and organization. A compliment is appreciation in action which meets the basic human need for recognition and appreciation. To refer back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, this would be meeting the esteem level of basic human needs.

Compliments are a form of structured gratitude, which is proven to have extremely beneficial effects in the workplace. It’s something so simple that every organization can be doing to create a better work environment. There are simple statements that could be used like “you’re the best”, “great job”, and “this is great work”.  Try to take it one step further to show your employees why they’re the best or why it’s great work.  Positive compliments like this can serve as feedback to the employee to know what they are doing right – which can be used again on their next project.

Of course, when the culture at the workplace changes, there will be an awkward transition.  Some employees may view compliments as “weird”, but if you stay consistent, this will dramatically improve the work environment and culture.


How to Improve Delegation

February 12th, 2018 · Comments Off

In our last blog, we talked about how delegation is a key trait to leadership. Delegation is critical for success of operations, but it can be tricky.  Here are three tips for you to help you improve how tasks are delegated.

Pick the right person for the task.  We mentioned that in the last blog.  Playing on your employee’s strengths and skills can help the project run quickly and smoothly.

Don’t micromanage your team.  If you’ve ever been micromanaged before, you know it’s annoying. It limits freedom to openly try new things that could maybe lead to success. If mistakes are made, embrace them and learn how to improve together. Building trust between you and your team is essential for delegation.

Give Recognition. Positive compliments can serve as feedback and create a better work environment. It can also help your employees feel appreciated and continue to give their best on future projects.


Three Leadership Traits

January 9th, 2018 · Comments Off

When an interviewer asks what your greatest strengths are, do you respond with “I’m a leader”? Anyone can say they’re a leader, but do YOU have the evidence to back it up? First, you should probably think about someone who is a leader to you. What traits do they have? Is it that they’re respected? Do you think you’re respected?  Here are three traits that are considered leadership skills:

  1. Confidence. For just about anyone, confidence is key. But when you’re a leader, being confident shows that what you’re leading towards is worth paying attention to. It demonstrates pride and can be respected.
  2. With that being said, the second trait is respect. Perhaps it’s seeking the input of others and weighing their thoughts to better understand what you can do to better lead. If you’re trying to lead your work team to an idea that is best for everyone and the company, how can you listen to what people are saying to help lead them to the final goal? Leaders not only lead, they listen. When people feel like they’re being heard, they often reciprocate with respect.
  3. Delegation. Once you’ve found a good way to lead everyone to the final goal, make sure you delegate the responsibilities. A strong leader knows each individual’s strengths and should play on them. Delegation of responsibilities will also build trust between you and your team.

So the next time an interviewer asks “what’s your greatest strength?” are you going to prove that you’re a leader?


How to Keep Sick Employees at Home

December 18th, 2017 · Comments Off

It’s that time of year again, when you start to hear sneezing, coughing, and sniffles all over the office. When an employee comes into work when they’re sick, it can prolong their sickness, spread to other employees, those employees will spread it to their families, and it becomes a rapid fire sickness that everyone has.  So how can you keep sick employees home?

Try offering sick day pay. This helps the employee feel less obligated to come to work if they know they will still be able to afford the necessities in life.

If it’s possible, let them work from home. If the job or project allows it, letting an employee work from home will help them stay up-to-date with the projects they’re working on without getting others sick.

If they come in, ask them to go home. And no – this isn’t rude. Asking an employee to go home to get rest and feel better actually shows that you care about your employees. A sick employee isn’t going to work at their fullest potential when they’re blowing their nose every two minutes.

Caring for your employees will raise your employee’s overall satisfaction with the company and help retention rates.  Your employees are your greatest assets, make sure you put in the effort to keep them healthy and happy!


How to Conquer Toxic Workplaces

November 28th, 2017 · Comments Off

According to Kenan-Flagler Business School, toxic workplaces costs U.S. employers $23.8 billion annually in the form of absenteeism, health care, lost productivity, and more.  The results of a survey conducted by Mitchell Kusy and Elizabeth Holloway show why this topic is important. Sixty-four percent of people were currently working with someone they considered toxic, and 94 percent said they had worked with someone toxic during the course of their career. Toxic workplaces drain employees and lower productivity. If these behaviors are not checked, the workplace can easily drift into hostile workplace environments that have very real legal implications.

Toxic workplaces can be caused by many things: gossip, bullying, micromanagement, and/or narcissism. Types of toxic behaviors include tearing others down, passive aggressive leadership, destructive gossip, devious politics, negativity, aggressiveness, narcissism, lack of credibility, passivity, disorganization, and the resistance to change. These behaviors can create a toxic workplace environment.

Human resource management is ultimately the people who are held responsible for establishing an environment free from toxic behaviors. So as a human resource manager, how do you fix it? The best way to stop the development of a toxic workplace is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Managers should use the selection process to identify people who are toxic. Managers should use approaches like self-assessments and 360-degree observer ratings to detect toxic behaviors. These approaches work better at identifying toxic behaviors than interviews or reference checks.

Although terminating an employment relationship is never a desired outcome, it may be necessary. Documenting behavior and incidents, counseling on the need to change behavior, and eventually firing the employee may be necessary to eliminate the toxic buildup.

If you are an employee in a toxic environment, go speak to HR.  They should be able to help you resolve the problem in an effective manner.  We spend a lot of time at our places of work.  It shouldn’t be uncomfortable!


Five Minute Meetings

November 14th, 2017 · Comments Off

Nothing makes a day longer than being booked full of long, drawn out, unproductive meetings.  Here’s an idea – instead of hour or half hour long meetings, slim it down to five minutes.  Aaron Shapiro, Chief Executive Office of Huge Inc. can – in fact, he prefers it. Huge Inc. is a digital agency in New York with over 1,500 employees. He has no qualms about cutting people short, but rather says that it’s “politely blunt”.

It’s time to put these long meetings in the past. There’s no time for small talk, and less tolerance for 30- or 60-minute meetings when five to 15 minutes will do. Five minute meetings forces both managers and employees to learn how to get their point across as fast as possible. Think of each meeting as an elevator pitch. This cuts out extra noise and fluff that some may think is necessary to impress the audience.

This is a quality over quantity when it comes to communication.  Kristi Hedges, author of “The Inspiration Code” and “The Power of Presence,” says most people feel overwhelmed by the amount of communication required on the job, e.g. emails, reports, meetings, team builders, and the list goes on. This applies to executives, managers, and workers. No wonder productivity lags and frustration rises in the workplace.

Using the five minute meeting method could save your company time, boost productivity, and reduce frustration! Why not give it a try?


The Importance of Social Media

September 13th, 2017 · Comments Off

Social media can be a huge deciding factor for your potential employer.  They’re doing their research just like you’re supposed to.  With sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, employers have the opportunity to peek into what isn’t on your resume.  Your social media is a book and your profile picture is your cover.  What you post and share to the world can shape an employer’s decision to hire you. Don’t believe me?

CareerBuilder.com conducted a survey in June of 2017 asking 2,380 hiring professionals about the presence of social media in their hiring process – and numbers are at an all time high.  In their report they state that “70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring” – which is a significant jump from their 2012 survey that had results of 37%. The study is broken down further stating that 61% of employers conduct social media screening to look for verification of your qualifications, half of hiring managers are just looking to see if you have an online presence, and 24% stated that they used social media as a basis to not hire someone.  It’s not just social media they’re checking either, 69% of hiring managers are using search engines too (i.e. Google, Yahoo, and Bing).

So what does all of this information mean to you?  You can use your social media presence as an advantage to you.  Use it to show who you are and your personality.  Again, it’s a book about you.  CareerBuilder.com’s survey showed that 44% of employers found content that solidified their decision hire the candidate.

Obviously, you should clean your accounts up.  If you’re in question of what you should clean up, repnup.com is a free resource that scans your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for inappropriate or questionable content.  They also offer a personality assessment that only took me 5 minutes to take.  I find these assessments useful for when I can’t think of an answer to “what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” question.

My biggest rule of thumb is “don’t post anything that grandma would be upset to see”. So those pictures from last weekend’s house party where you’re leaning over the beer pong table should probably be cleaned up.  Be sure to read the post “What Not to Share with the World” for more tips.

For more details about the survey that was conducted by CareerBuilder.com: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/number-of-employers-using-social-media-to-screen-candidates-at-all-time-high-finds-latest-careerbuilder-study-300474228.html


What Millennials Want

August 31st, 2017 · Comments Off

The future of the workplace is quickly changing to meet the demands of new technology and millennials. In the United States, roughly 73 million millennials were born between 1980 to 1996.  It’s estimated that by 2025, the workforce will comprise of 80% of millennials. Experts also have the opinion that millennials will have as many as four to five different careers in the course of their professional lives.  With that being said, it is important – and sometimes difficult – to retain millennial talent.

 As most generations before them wanted, millennials want a well-off lifestyle with good jobs and regular pay, but they also want a high level of well-being.  That means being healthier and living a purposeful life.  Millennials are looking for jobs that engage them, but according to a survey conducted by Gallup, only 29% of employed millennials reported that they feel engaged at work. Half of millennials say they’re content with the amount of money they’re making.

generations

It may be a surprise to some of you, but sometimes higher pay isn’t always the solution to retain millennial talent.  Again, the quality of life matters to a millennial, so professional development is something they seek.  They’re looking for an employer where they can be hired on and grow.  Based on the chart, millennials find this to be the most important of the options they were given.  According to a survey from EdAssist, 60% of millennials prefer a job that offers regular opportunities for professional development over one that offered regular pay raises.  In fact, about 63% of millennials said they would take a promotion over a raise.

If your company or organization isn’t taking the time to know what the future talent wants, it’ll be difficult to retain them.  As mentioned in a previous post “happy employees equals higher retention rates, which equals less time and money in recruiting, hiring, and training.  And as cliché as it sounds, time is money.”


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Latest News & Tips

Vacationing Tips
July 23, 2018

It’s that time of the year – vacation time! Vacationing is a great way to leave the stresses of work for a while, but returning to work after [...]

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