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WORKPLACE SAFETY

Are there guns in your workplace?

By Lynne Curry If you think the national division over guns hasn’t hit your workplace, you haven’t been listening. Not only are the employees who advocate for increased gun control, including a ban on assault-style rifles like the AR-15, engaged in an active argument with those who argue for fewer restrictions on gun owners’ ability to carry concealed firearms—but some of your coworkers or employees may be packing. Does your employee handbook address whether your employer allows employees or non-employees to bring guns onto worksites? What about whether employees can keep guns in their cars or trucks? The concealed handgun permit statues in many states don’t address whether those legally permitted to own guns can bring them to work or carry them into others’ workplaces. Instead, it’s up to employers… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Signs of potential disaster were present at Walmart—Are they at your workplace?

By Lynne Curry There were signs of potential disaster that later erupted in six deaths when Walmart supervisor Andre Bing shot and killed six coworkers in November. There always are. Four decades of investigating violent workplace incidents have convinced me of this. “I didn’t want to say anything,” someone always says, “but….” “That was just ‘Jon,’ but we all sort of knew it, and didn’t poke the bear.” “I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I didn’t tell anyone.” “I was too scared to say anything.” The Walmart investigation uncovered significant information detailing the genesis of the November disaster. Bing had written a note on his phone filled with complaints about coworkers, saying they mocked and harassed him. He named the coworkers he felt had antagonized or betrayed him. One coworker… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

3 questions to ask in your daily standup meetings

A daily standup meeting can be a highly effective way to keep your staff motivated and moving on important tasks. This 10-minute meeting, used in a variety of workplaces, provides an opportunity for a quick check-in on the day’s priorities. As the name implies, participants stand up—a posture that discourages long discussion. The meeting is so short no one bothers to find a seat. You should schedule the meeting at the same time and place deal. The start of the shift, after staff arrives and gets settled for work but before the office opens to clients, is one common time to schedule the regular standup meeting. You should also start on time rather than wait for latecomers. You can use the time to review ongoing projects such as filing backlog…. . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

6 tips for choosing legal practice management software

By Diane Camacho There continues to be a tremendous push in the legal community from practice management software companies. This has evolved from the use of cloud-based software. What should practice management software do for you? Keep all your client information in one place. Keep all your information available to you on the go. Allow you to enter your information one time for all applications. Provide document automation. Provide document management. Efficiently track your time and produce bills. Either produce financial reports or sync with a financial management platform like QuickBooks. From my experience in the legal community and particularly working with small firms and solo practitioners, I’ve accumulated the following tips on legal practice management software. Tip 1 Each of these programs have a sweet spot. Some do billing… . . . read more

3 steps to determine what office help you need

By Diane Camacho When you are at the point where you know you have to get office help, take the time to determine what help you need.  Your neighbor’s brother-in-law may need a job, but he may not be the best bet. The following three step process can help you hire the right help.  Step 1 – Track your non-billable time Create a client/matter number for your non-billable time and track it just as if it were client billable. You are in effect paying for it, so track it. Don’t get too complicated. Simple entries that will remind you what type of task you did and how long it took are fine. Perhaps things like: Research new software File papers Type pleading forms Look for insurance brokers Make folders for client files… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Inflation’s impact on employees and the workplace

By Lynne Curry What keeps your employees and coworkers up at night, and what does it mean to you as their employer or colleague? According to the U.S. 2022 Inside Employees’ Minds Report conducted by the HR consulting firm Mercer, which surveyed 4049 employees between Aug. 26 and Sept. 9, 2022, it’s financial worries, https://www.mercer.us/content/dam/mercer/attachments/private/us-2022-inside-employees-minds-report.pdf. The number one issue for many employees in 2022—can they cover monthly expenses given skyrocketing inflation—ranked only ranked ninth in 2021. As no surprise, employee satisfaction with their employers has declined markedly from last year in the areas of compensation and benefits. Further, two years of continued crises—the pandemic, layoffs and labor shortages, supply chain challenges, political and racial polarization, the war in Ukraine, and the looming recession—have changed how employees view work. Employees who once… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

5 lessons employers can learn from Elon Musk’s Twitter crises

By Lynne Curry When multi-billionaire and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk acquired Twitter on Oct. 27, he assumed leadership of a company that hadn’t earned a profit in eight of its ten years, By Nov. 4, eight days later, 1.3 million users had fled Twitter. Revenue dropped dramatically as advertisers, Twitter’s main revenue source, pulled out. One could feel sorry for Musk—except Twitter’s crises resulted in part from Musk’s own “I wing it” actions. His mistakes provide valuable lessons for other employers. Don’t alienate those you most need to survive Musk’s own tweets and heavy-handed actions alienated Twitter’s employees and stakeholders. In his first eight days, Musk fired massive numbers of Twitter’s full-time workforce, throwing remaining employees into survival mode. Remaining employees heard about the mass layoffs but didn’t learn… . . . read more

REMOTE WORK

Digital presenteeism: Faking you care, faking you’re even there

By Lynne Curry A surprising number of employees, determined to hold on to their “work from home” status and aware that managers and others suspect remote employees of working less than their required hours, practice digital presenteeism. Digital presenteeism involves remote employees demonstrating they’re hard workers by responding to additional emails, attending additional meetings, and contributing comments in every meeting. According to a recent job trends report, the average remote employee works 67 additional minutes daily in an effort to convince managers they’re fully engaged in their jobs, https://www.flexjobs.com/remote-jobs/company/talentwise. The same report reveals that a record 85% of managers find it difficult to know for sure if their remote employees are productive. The problem—these actions erode morale and don’t equate with higher productivity. Said one mid-level manager who called me this… . . . read more

Navigating Workplace Conflict: Practical Tools for Difficult, Messy, Touchy Situations

Navigating Workplace Conflict: Practical Tools for Difficult, Messy, Touchy Situations. Presenter: Lynne Curry, PhD, President of Communication Works, Inc. Join Lynne Curry for this practical, ‘how-to” webinar that’s packed with the proven ideas, tips and techniques to help you gain positive outcomes from even the most severe personal, professional, and workplace conflicts. How to recognize and respond to the most common types of office and staff conflict situations How to identify difficult and toxic staffers and recognize when conflict situations might arise What steps to immediately take when responding to common workplace conflict situations How to maintain your own “cool” and make it through unscathed when dealing with toxic, angry, and even nasty and insulting staffers The most effective way to start a conflict discussion that also helps avoid conflict… . . . read more

Loyalty and co-operation are not optional

By Dr.  Steve M. Cohen It might sound obvious, but being a key employee, especially a top-level manager, requires above all organizational loyalty. Yet, in many businesses, some employees are working at cross proposes with their organization. Assume that Office A has an objective, probably something articulated in their mission and vision statement. This objective could be stated in a premise like the following: In order to be successful, we must all work together. Using a metaphor might help. Everyone in the boat must be rowing, rowing hard and rowing together, in order for the organization and employees to be successful. An employer or organization can tolerate an employee rowing slower than expected. An employer or organization can even tolerate an employee putting down his or her oar for a… . . . read more


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