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HUMAN RESOURCES

Coming out at work

By Lynne Curry “He’s talented but anti-social,” the business owner said of his accounting manager when he called. “At first, we thought the problem was that “Gene” was a finance type and kind of a geek. But there have been odd comments from others over the last two years,” explained the business owner as he asked for my help as an HR consultant. “The latest problem is he doesn’t want to attend our Christmas party. We’ve asked all the managers to make an appearance. We’d like to promote him to CFO and don’t want someone unstable in that position. Could you interview him and give us a read?” Gene sent me a Zoom link for the interview and was tight-lipped, so I invited him to meet off-site. Before we met,… . . . 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

LEADERSHIP

5 ways to help your team members overcome burnout

The last couple of years have been rough on everyone in the workplace, including law offices. Many suffered burnout early in the pandemic; others held it all together until now when they are  quietly falling apart. Chances are someone on your team has had enough of the pressures from work, family, finances, the public health emergency and other turmoil in society. As a manager, you want to help. Here are four ideas to get you started: Help organize and prioritize work into manageable and clear expectations. These changes can help rebuild energy over time and aid in recovery. Develop a practical strategy to support an employee who may be experiencing burnout. As part of any plan, ask the employee how best to recognize their successes and victories. This could include immediate and… . . . read more

STAFF RETENTION

Find out what your employees want before they join the Great Resignation

By Lynne Curry After nearly two years of being whipsawed by the pandemic, increasing numbers of employees have gone left work. The trend picked up speed in the middle of 2021, when twenty million U.S. employees quit their jobs between April and August 2021.1   4.3 million employees quit in August 2021, a figure 40 percent higher than in August 2020, and 20 percent higher than in August 2019 before the pandemic.2 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which began reporting resignations in 2001, this 40 percent figure establishes an all-time record high.1 Surveys suggest this employee resignation tsunami will only increase. In March 2021, Gallup reported 48 percent of the U.S. employees they surveyed were job searching or scanning for new opportunities.1 In August, the consulting firm PwC’s poll of… . . . read more

LEADERSHIP

Embrace on-job learning and listen to employees for more resilient teams

Leaders who encourage their employees to learn on the job and speak up with ideas and suggestions for change have teams that are more effective and resilient in the face of unexpected situations, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Windsor. “A Resource Model of Team Resilience Capacity and Learning” will appear in a special issue of Group & Organization Management. Authors Kyle Brykman, an assistant professor at the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor, and Danielle King, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Rice, studied what makes employees more resilient and fosters learning in the workplace. The researchers specifically examined the interactions of 48 teams from five technology startups. “Understanding what organizations can do to help employees become more resilient is the… . . . read more

Managing Staff

Performance reviews: Dread them? Ditch them? Replace them?

By Lynne Curry Do you dread filling out annual performance reviews? Do you wonder about their effectiveness? You aren’t the only one with doubts. A Gallup survey reports that only 14% of employees strongly agree their performance reviews inspire improvement.1 According to 58% of executives surveyed, their company’s current performance management system produces neither higher performance nor employee engagement.2 And 8 out of  10 (83%) of HR managers surveyed report that their company’s performance assessment systems need to be overhauled.3 What’s wrong with most reviews? They don’t fix poor performers. Some managers fear giving negative ratings and may give problem employees “meets expectations” or higher ratings. This leads some mediocre employees to feel “I’m doing everything right; I don’t need to change.” This can result in legal difficulty should the employer… . . . read more

BLOG

5 ways high-performance organizations make meetings effective

By J. Elise Keith  bio
Every organization has to figure out how to make meetings productive. It’s a complex challenge. To be effective, each meeting needs to…


. . . read more

BLOG

“What’s it really like around here?”

By Lynne Curry  bio
You feel it the moment you enter the organization. Ask the employees “What’s it like around here?” and they confirm…


. . . read more

BLOG

Why you need to stop talking to start leading

By Rebecca Teasdale  bio
Recently, a colleague and I were at a dinner function with a group of leaders from a client company. We found ourselves seated at a table with…


. . . read more

BLOG

5 things leaders can learn from stand-up comedians

By Andrew Tarvin  bio
As you can imagine, stand-up comedy can make you a better presenter. After all, it’s one of the hardest forms of public speaking…


. . . read more


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