Get yourself out of office Grinch mode

December 19, 2017

“Good morning!” you called out to your co-worker as she took off her coat and settled into her chair in the cubicle next to yours.

“What’s good about it?” came her mumbled response.

During the staff meeting later that morning, your boss shared that you and your colleague were selected to participate on a cross-functional project team. You were excited, but she moaned, “Great. As if I don’t already have enough to do.”

Thinking you could cheer her up, you invited her to lunch at the restaurant down the street. Enjoying the short walk in the cold rain, you wished out loud that it would snow soon. Your colleague responded with all the reasons why she hates it when it snows. Sound familiar? Read the rest of this entry »

8 tips for those frazzled by work, family and holiday stress

December 13, 2017

Your boss just asked you to work late tonight to finish an important report.

Your significant other texted to ask if you’d stop for milk and eggs at the grocery store on your way home from work (whenever you finally leave the office).

Your parents will arrive for the holidays on Friday and you still need to find time to clean the house. And finish the Christmas shopping. And do the laundry. And decorate the house. And wrap the presents. And finish two big projects at work. And…

Feeling your stress level rising just thinking about everything you need to accomplish before Christmas? Here are eight tips to reduce stress, so you can spend more time enjoying the holidays. Read the rest of this entry »

Throw a company party with less risk of liability

December 6, 2017

You volunteered to lead the planning committee for the company’s upcoming holiday party, thinking it would be a great way to demonstrate your fabulous project management skills to the senior management team.

The committee has been working diligently on preparations for the event for several months now, and everything has been running smoothly. You were finally starting to breathe a sigh of relief (and look forward to the event), until you started to hear office party horror stories about past events.

The two employees who got into a drunken fist fight in the men’s bathroom.

The employee who threw up in a potted plant just outside the hotel ballroom and then almost fell down a flight of stairs.

The drunken dirty dancing, with someone’s bra being thrown in the air across the dance floor.

Now you’re having second thoughts about the open bar. You’re also wondering about liability to the company if anything bad happens. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Break In Your New Boss

November 22, 2017

“You’ll be getting a new boss next week.”

Those can be emotionally charged words that can create stress and anxiety for many people. But they don’t have to, if you try thinking about it in a different way.

Instead of getting upset or anxious, get strategic. Because getting a new boss can be the perfect time to reset your employee/manager relationship. Read the rest of this entry »

Messed Up Big Time At Work? How To Recover

November 15, 2017

“I feel horrible about my behavior,” my client told me over the telephone. “During our project team meeting today, I yelled at someone and made her cry.”

I asked what prompted his behavior.

“I was feeling really frustrated because we can’t afford to miss the go-live date for the new IT system,” he explained. “Management is counting on us and I felt like she wasn’t listening to me and didn’t care about resolving the issues we’ve run into. That’s when I lost it and yelled at her.” Read the rest of this entry »

2 Skills The People Manager Of The Future Will Need

October 25, 2017

I was having a conversation with the head of a local technology company recently and she asked me an interesting question.

She said they were going to start their long-range strategic planning during the second half of this year, and wanted to know what I thought were the most important skills her managers would need in the future (2020 and beyond).

I told her I thought she should train every manager on how to be a great coach and teach them how to act like an internal consultant. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Improve Your Organization’s Employee Engagement Scores

October 18, 2017

Just as workplaces are changing – more people working remotely, more digital communication taking place, companies moving to more open floor plans without assigned spaces – the way we look at employee engagement needs to change.

Employee engagement shouldn’t be an annual survey with managers left on their own to figure out how they can earn higher scores the next year. Employee engagement needs to start at the executive levels and move from being an abstract annual survey to becoming an ingrained part of your company’s culture and part of the daily work of each people manager throughout your organization. Read the rest of this entry »