5 Steps For Managing Staff As Adults, Not Children

For many managers, overseeing a staff can sometimes feel more like being a parent than an overseer and adviser of adults.

Because of this dysfunctional work relationship, many businesses are unable to realize their full potential as creativity and productivity suffers.

Parent-type managers make too many decisions for those who work for them. In turn, employees who operate in the child position ask permission for almost any action, especially those that could be controversial or break away from the status quo.

You can break this cycle at your company by taking these steps:

1. Get real with yourself – Determine if psychologically you’re operating as a parent by asking yourself how often your employees ask you to make decision for them, if you’re constantly trying to change your employee’s behavior or how difficult it is to get straight answers from your staff.

2. Stop calling the shots – Break the pattern of making all the decisions by instead asking your employee what he or she thinks. It will be difficult at first, but eventually staffers will become more confident and stop coming to you.

3. Ask for needs – There are always ways to increase your employee’s productivity and skills. Ask your staff what they would need in order to perform their job better.

4. Go macro – Good managers oversee projects on a macro-level, keeping an eye on the overall goals and objectives. Parents are constantly supervising individual tasks. Treat your employees like adults and let them figure out how to achieve their job goals on their own.

5. Risk Failure – If you’re a control freak when you’re managing, you’re probably acting more as a parent. Adults have to be willing to accept the possibility of failure and then be able to move on to the next project with more knowledge from the last.

 For more information on managing employees, read the article by K. Palmer Hartl this post summarizes.

Get Healthy And Be Cheery By Celebrating Candy Canes

Whether they’re hanging from tree branches, being used to stir hot cups of cocoa or sprinkled on Christmas cookies – candy canes are everywhere this time of year.

This year, celebrate this winter classic with one of December’s lesser-known holidays National Candy Cane Day on Dec. 26th

Aside from being a tasty treat with finger-licking, minty appeal, there are a lot of hidden advantages to eating candy canes. That’s because their key ingredient, peppermint, is packed with health benefits. 

Throughout history people have used peppermint to aid all kinds of stomach problems, including nausea, indigestion, heartburn and cramps. It is also often used to ease stress and help cure tension headaches. 

And it is great for soothing a sore throat, cough and stuffy nose, since its main active ingredient is menthol, the same compound used in over-the-counter cold medicines. 

So this holiday season, chomp down on another candy cane or try one of these delicious recipes – for your health. 

Increase Employee Performance By Building Trust

When it comes to business, it’s all about trust. At least it is for employees. 

Recent study shows 86 percent of employees say they must trust their boss to do well in the workplace. Yet trust in their superiors decreased in the last year for 26 percent of people polled, according to a report by the Interaction Association

Employees that trust their bosses tend to achieve more customer loyalty and retention, profit growth and competitive market positions. 

Here are five ways to build trust in your organization: 

  1. Ask for input – Especially for decisions that directly affect your employees, ask for their opinions.
  2. Fill in the background – Give staff members the background information concerning why company decisions are made. 
  3. Set for success – Offer your employees the opportunity for additional education and research so they can thrive. 
  4. Admit your mistakes – Be honest with your team about errors; explain what happened, why it happened and move on.  
  5. Don’t shoot the messenger – Do not punish employees for pointing out problems or issues with how operations are running. 

For more information, check out the infographic and study published by the Interaction Association.  

Top 3 Sources of Stress for Employers and Employees

According to the American Psychological Association, more than 2/3 of Americans say work is a major source of stress in their lives. Both employers and employees need to discover what is triggering this stress and work to find a solution. However, research from Towers Watson reveals that employers and employees have completely different ideas about their top stress triggers. Here are the top 3:

#1 Employers – Lack of work-life balance.

#1 Employees – Inadequate staffing.

#2 Employers – Inadequate staffing.

#2 Employees – Low pay or low increases in pay.

#3 Employers – Technology that allows them to be accessible during non-working hours.

#3 Employees – Unclear or conflicting job expectations.

For a full report on this topic, please read the article here.

Four Workplace Trends of the Future

Lindsey Pollak, a key note speaker, best selling author and consultant on next-generation career and workplace topics, shares what she believes will be four future workplace trends:

1.  Wellness at Work – 90% of employers are now offering wellness programs.  They are taking care of the health of their employees by offering weight loss programs with incentives; smoking cessation programs, and stress reduction programs, to name a few. In order to attract and retain the best employees, wellness programs are a necessity and no longer a luxury for employers.

2. Degree or not to Degree? – Young people are asking themselves, “Is it really worth it to get a four year college degree?” This stems from the $28-30K student loan debt graduates are carrying. Young people are trying to determine if they can get a good job without a four-year degree, or if they should consider an associates degree, online degree, or community college degree. We may begin to see more incentives from companies to help pay back college loans.

3. iMoms – Although we typically think of millennials as kids, they are quickly reaching the age of 30.  We are now seeing more millennial moms in the work place, as well as more single moms and younger parents. In fact, 46% are responsible for their kids financially.  A Hartford Survey in 2013 revealed that 10% of millennials have parents relying on them financially.

4. Design Mind – Although it may sound superficial, this trend is about how everything looks.  Millennials have been marketed to their entire lives. Thanks to Steve Jobs of Apple, millennials are extremely visual and design savvy. They want to be proud of their company’s brand visually, and expect attractive employment & benefits materials, as well as company communications. Milllenials utilize visual social media outlets such as Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram and Tumblr.  Look for new product designs to appeal to the visual desires of millennials. Companies who embrace and understand this concept will reap big rewards in the future.

To see the short video by Lindsey Pollak in its entirety, please click here.