Posted on

Getting to Know Your New Employees

Getting to Know Your New EmployeesAs a leader, having a good relationship with your team is a key to success. A way to start building this relationship is by getting to know and understand each individual team member — what they are like as professionals and what makes them tick as a person. This, of course, needs to be done without moving into inappropriate areas of their personal life.

Whether you’re a manager who just hired a new team member or new manager joining a team, you’re in a situation where you must get to know people. With all of the work already piling up, how can you possibly make time to get to know your employees, aside from sending them a long, intrusive survey?

First, don’t waste any time. Although it may seem awkward learning about people, imagine how awkward it is when you still have no idea about who they are after they’ve been working under you for a year. With that in mind, spread out the “getting to know you” questions to avoid bombarding a new employee.  This will also make it easier for you to remember the information. Finally, when a person tells you about themselves, always listen, show interest and understand what their saying. This will help you recall it later.

As a manager, you want to get to know your new employees on two different levels – professionally and, to a lesser degree, personally. Professionally, learn about a person’s strengths and weaknesses, their experiences, their goals and their work habits. It’s much easier to lead somebody when you know how they learn and organize themselves. Never pry into an employee’s personal information but if they offer it, understand what motivates them, as well as what they may be dealing with outside of the office.

So how do you go about gathering all of this information? Here are a few simple tips and strategies:

  • Ask other managers. Especially if you’re new or if your employee came from another department, one of your colleagues may be able to provide input. This isn’t limited internally, as you know from the hiring process, references can provide valuable insight.
  • Schedule one-on-ones. Regular meetings are an opportunity to ask what would make things more interesting for them and how things can improve around the office. Their responses will teach you some of their motivations, priorities, and values.
  • Work on a project. Rather than always being a “manager”, join a project and work with your team at the same level. They will become more comfortable with you and share more as a result.
  • Be open to conversation. An open door policy and a commitment to a few minutes of casual chit-chat each day can go a long way in getting to know somebody.
  • Some (most?) people dread them, but when time permits, the right setting with the right icebreaker can help you get to know somebody and be a phenomenal team builder.
  • Team socials. After work, get together for activities. It can be a pub night, exercise, or celebrate birthdays and achievements.
  • Bring treats. It is possible to buy love, at least when it’s with food. Bringing in baked goods or having a bowl of candy on your desk can start great conversation.
  • Work on conflicts together. Adversity and conflict resolution can strengthen a relationship. People often expose a different side of themselves when working through a tough situation.
  • Ask interesting questions. There are plenty of resources on the web with questions to ask to get to know somebody professionally, or quirky questions to see their softer side.

It would be unrealistic to expect an employee to open up right away, but with some time, effort, and a smile, it won’t be long before you know more about an employee than just what’s on their resume. What steps have you taken to get to know a new employee?

Posted on

How to Reap the Benefits of Your Multi-Generational Team (Infographic)

Today’s labour force is primarily comprised of three generations — Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers — and each make up roughly 30% of the workforce. While authors love bashing Millennials’ work ethic, Gen-X’s negativity, and Baby Boomers’ resistance to change, successful leaders understand that a combination of all groups will result in a high-performing team. In the same manner that each group has its perceived downsides, they also contribute unique skills.

Ghergich & Co. teamed up with AkkenCloud to create an infographic that describes the unique skills each generation brings to the workforce. It includes the three segments referenced above, as well as the “Silent Generation” which, although less prevalent, continues to make up part of Canada’s workforce. As a leader, take a look for tips and pointers on how you can make your age-diverse team work together harmoniously.

Unique Skills in Each Generation That Employers Need

Posted on

Why Your Employees Aren’t Engaged & How You Can Help (Infographic)

Are your employees working to their potential right now? If you said “yes” there’s only a 30% chance you’re right. 7 in every 10 employees are disengaged from their work—meaning they’re distracted or, worse, just pretending to work while they secretly watch cat videos.

If you want to take back your workplace, you have to look beyond what employee engagement is costing you (a reported $350 billion for U.S. companies each year), and dig deeper. You need to know why employees are unfocused.

That’s where the team at Company Folders comes in. They’ve done the research and discovered what employees are really doing at work, why it’s happening, and—most importantly—how you can motivate them to do better.

Have more ideas for motivating employees? Tell us in the comments below.

Why Your Employees Aren't Engaged & How You Can Help (Infographic)

Posted on

The 9 Most Despised Work Personalities (Infographic)

Are you trying to build your culture to become a place everybody wants to work? Part of that task includes identifying toxic personalities that discourage new talent or cause great employees to want to leave, and then fixing those problems. Sometimes fixing could mean terminating a person, but hopefully you can keep them around and fix any issues with some training.

This infographic from Workfront (formerly AtTask) identifies 9 people who may be lingering in your office and destroying your efforts to create that ideal culture. Do you recognize any of them? If so, do they concern you?

The 9 Most Despised Work Personalities (Infographic)

Posted on

Top 4 (slightly unethical) Tricks on How to Persuade Anyone (Video)

Every manager and recruiter tries to persuade people to do various things throughout their job. It can be while negotiating salary, convincing a top performer to leave a competitor and join your team, or just asking for a favour around the office. Regardless, knowing the best techniques to persuade somebody can have a positive impact on how well you can do your job.

There is a science behind persuasion, and it’s more than saying please and begging. As this video from Bite Sze Psych explains, understanding how the human mind works and manipulating those processes can go a long way. Just be sure not to cross any ethical lines while you’re doing it.

Posted on

5 Things Being a Managing Director Taught Me

5 Things Becoming a Managing Director Taught MeWhat’s being a managing director all about? Here Hilton Freund of payday loans provider Wizzcash reflects on his time in senior management.

  1. Think big and say yes

As I’ve got a bit older, I’ve realised that, in both my personal and professional life, there’s a phrase I hope I never have to utter to myself: ‘what if?’. As managing director of payday loans company Wizzcash, I don’t want to reflect on a career full of missed opportunities or projects I could have explored.

So I’ve made thinking big and saying yes one of the most important lessons I’ve picked up from being in a senior leadership role. Set yourself free from the safe harbour of home and don’t be afraid to be bold – in your decisions and your ideas. There is an old phrase: you can do anything if you put your mind to it. And I couldn’t agree more.

  1. Kill jargon and phraseology

I’ve come to slowly hate jargon. In business, buzzwords like ‘pain points’, ‘going forward’ and being ‘agile’ (whatever that means) are bandied around with, well, abandon. I can’t tell you the number of meetings I’ve been to where I’ve come out being more confused than when I went in.

Sorry if I go on a bit of rant here, but jargon makes me suspicious. When people use it, I find myself questioning their motives. I wonder what their true agenda is. Jargon doesn’t help. It only serves to confuse, to muddle the message. When you’re in a managing director role, you come to realise just how important communication is. For a brand, jargon is bad because it makes you look like you don’t have any ideas or don’t have an identity. When you’re in a senior role, jargon is bad because it makes you look like you can’t express yourself properly. You become a walking cliche machine. One that can’t get a message across.

As an MD, I need to speak to people every day – whether it’s to a shop floor of staff or a board or at Pret when I buy a sandwich at lunch. And I need them to understand me. So speak as you find, speak in clear, precise language and use terms everyone knows. Be real and authentic. Don’t drown your messages in a cloak of meaningless words. The secret to proper communication is, quite simply, to be real.

  1. Celebrate mistakes

Well, kind of. It’s completely normal to make mistakes. Slipping up is part of life. Sometimes, though, when businesses make mistakes, they ignore them, pretend they didn’t happen or, even worse, spin them so they’re presented not as a mistake but, somehow, a success.

I’m not sure if this glossing-over of mistakes is a good thing. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not. Turning a mistake into a success is barmy. Ignoring a mistake is nonsensical. That’s because mistakes are powerful little things. They are little nuggets that, once broken into, will help you get better at what you do.

So when I say ‘celebrate mistakes’, I mean be honest about your challenges. Talk publicly about what went wrong and how you’d do it better the next time.

  1. Don’t fall out of the loop

I don’t like being out of the loop. Whether it’s how well Pep Guardiola is doing at Manchester City, whether Jeremy Corbyn is still head of the Labour Party or who the new Top Gear host is going to be, even if I’m not that interested, I want to know. Being in the loop helps keep you sharp, on top of things.

In my working life, I notice that it’s very easy to fall out of the loop. For one thing, you’re very busy. For another, there are people who do things for you. So it’s easy to take your eye of the ball when you’ve got a hectic schedule and you have a whole team ready to help you out. So I try to stay on top of things as much as I can. My industry is financial services, so I read blogs, the FT, subscribe to Google Alerts for key terms, listen to money programmes on the radio, you name it, I’ve probably got a subscription to it. Or downloaded it to my phone.

  1. Value your people

Let’s end with an obvious one. I say obvious – sometimes this gets forgotten about. Value your people. Finding time for your team – your immediate team but also your wider workforce, external consultants, suppliers and the chap who delivers the post is crucially important. Leadership comes from dealing with people, getting to know them and being a source of valuable support.

Posted on

How to Deal with Smelly Employees (Video)

Management training covers a wide range of topics — leadership, motivation, delegation, discipline, conflict resolution, the list goes on. What isn’t always covered, though, is how to deal with Stinky Sally in sales or Smelly Stanley in accounting.

Almost every office has at least one person who makes their co-workers’ noses cringe at the thought of having to sit next to them in a meeting. As frustrating as this can be for an office, it can also be a very sensitive issue for the culprit and needs to be tackled by their manager before jokes get out of control or relationships get harmed.

If you’re a manager and find yourself in that situation, or if you’d like to prepare in case you ever do find yourself in this situation, then this video from Russell HR Consulting will help you. It provides some great tips for any leader who needs to have the discussion of scent (strong body odour or excessive perfume/cologne) with a subordinate.

Posted on

Young Steve Jobs on How to Hire, Manage, and Lead People (Video)

Even though he’s no longer with us, the late Steve Jobs may be one of the most influential, inspiring and admired people in business. Progressive business leaders aspiring to build an Apple of their own are forever studying his success and charisma to better understand how he and the rest of the Apple team built one of the world’s largest tech companies.

This video published by Evan Carmichael features a very young Steve Jobs and other original team members explaining just that. Are there any recruitment, hiring or management tips you can pick up?

Posted on

Bringing Together Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials (Infographic)

As a leader, you already know that your teams are diverse in multiple ways, one of which being age. Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials are filling the workplace (with Gen Z on the way) and office dynamics are getting harder and harder to manage.

Specifically, leaders often identify managing multi-generational teams as particularly challenging. Everybody has different values and ways of working so finding the balance to optimize performance becomes quite the task.

In this inforgraphic from MidAmerica Nazarene University, researchers gathered information about how generations see themselves to gain a better picture. They conclude that the ideal solution is to help generations blend, rather than meet in the middle. What do you think?

How to Effectively Manage a Multi-generational Workplace Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Posted on

Fun Ways HR Managers Can Boost Office Productivity (Infographic)

Is your office environment boring and monotonous, but with a team dying for more liveliness? A boring workplace can cause employees to be less productive and have lower job satisfaction. The result will be higher turnover, meaning your HR department is always under pressure to recruit.  It may also mean your company has acquired a lousy reputation, making recruiting new people bigger challenge. With that type of blow-back, it’s in both the HR department and hiring manager’s best interest to ensure the office culture has some pizzazz.

This infographic from Slyng can help. It provides 8 different ideas you can apply to your workplace to make work less of a chore for your employees resulting in a boost in office productivity. Could any of these make a difference in your organization?

Fun Ways HR Managers Can Boost Office Productivity (Infographic)