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HIRING

Gen Z: Avoid crucial mistakes when managing them

By Lynne Curry Question: We’re hiring a group of young office interns this summer for a special project and are trying to figure out the best team member to supervise them. We’re thinking someone as close in age to them as possible. Your thoughts? Answer: You’re hiring Gen Z workers, individuals born after 1995. The oldest Gen Z workers are 27, and while similar to Gen Y employees are as different from Gen Y workers as Gen Y employees are from Gen Xers. It surprises many that Gen X managers fare worse when managing Gen Y employees than do Baby Boomer managers, those born prior to 1964. Thus, don’t let age be your deciding factor. Gen Zers crave independence and consider themselves self-directed, even if they aren’t. It’s easy to… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Just promoted to office manager? Follow these 9 critical rules to avoid problems managing former friends and colleagues

Getting promoted to office manager can be a mixed blessing. As a former staffer, the new manager comes into the job knowing the good performers, the bad performers, the shortcuts, the troublemakers—and a few secrets. But the former peers also know their new boss, including strengths, weaknesses, and what buttons to push. Along with that, they are wondering how their relationship with their former peer will change. And someone who vied for the promotion could be poised to sabotage the new manager. Things are different now. To be successful in the job, the staffer-turned-manager has to carve out an entirely new position in the office. 1. Get a proper introduction The first hurdle is to get into the position with the acceptance of the other staff, and to achieve that,… . . . read more

STAFF MEETINGS

Zoom hiders: Camera shy or disengaged?

By Lynne Curry Question: For our mandatory manager meetings, I show up on time so my attendance is noted, and then get through the meetings by multi-tasking. It’s easy enough to hear what’s said as I get other work done. I cover this up by always making a positive comment on at least one of the manager’s proposals. I leave my video off, though, and when the manager chastised me, I compromised by turning it on at the beginning, saying “hi” to everyone, and turning it on anything important is happening, and when I’m speaking. I thought this was a reasonable compromise, so imagine my shock when my manager said my leaving the camera off was a key reason I wasn’t one of the three managers being sent to a… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Roe v. Wade wars in the workplace

By Lynne Curry Question: Our office employs an interesting mix of personalities. In the past, this made for intense discussions about politics and world events, until last week when the U.S. Supreme Court’s potential overturn of Roe v. Wade leaked. The discussion became hateful and resulted in personal attacks. The manager stopped it, but not soon enough. HR then interviewed involved employees. Several said they don’t feel comfortable working alongside several other employees any longer. Now, instead of employees asking each other questions, they email work-related questions through the manager. This is wearing on her and slows productivity. We need to mend what took place and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Our management team has decided if we need to ban all political, non-work-related discussions, we will. Several of… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Negative staff: Is the problem you?

By Lynne Curry The manager called me, completely frustrated with his team. He told me his employees were negative, blamed each other for problems, didn’t communicate with him or take accountability and didn’t buy in to important initiatives. He asked me to talk with his key employees and tell me how to fix them. When I met with him afterwards, I asked, “How honest do you want me to be?” His eyes widened in alarm and he said, “Honest, I guess.” “The main problem on your team isn’t your employees. It’s you.” Here’s what I told him. If you’re the team’s leader, it’s on you As the leader, you set the tone. If as a leader, you focus on “who was responsible for what went wrong?” with pointed “why did… . . . read more

LEADERSHIP

10 tips to turn toxic management into teamwork

By Daryll Esposito You know how valuable your employees are. The question is, do they know you know it? The working world is changing fast, and so are the demands of leadership. Successful law offices must nurture an environment that is not only productive but also provides flexibility, opportunity, and job satisfaction. Almost two-thirds of small to midsized companies report that employee retention is a bigger problem than hiring new talent, according to recent research from Zenefits. And when good staffers leave, it creates costly disruptions that can hamper overall productivity. WHAT IS A TOXIC BOSS? Leadership is never easy. It requires big-picture thinking, tough calls, and a deft touch to nudge things in the right direction. It also requires mutual trust and respect with everyone you work with. A… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Resignations: It’s not the pay, it’s people problems

By Lynne Curry It’s not the money driving the Great Resignation, in which 4.3 million employees quit their jobs in January, followed by another 4.4 million in February.1, 2 A major research project completed a couple of months ago makes this clear. The MITSloan Management Review researched 600 companies that had higher quit rates than their sector benchmark and assessed vast numbers of employee resignations.3 A toxic company culture is 10.4 times more likely to predict turnover than pay.4 Here’s what researchers learned. Pay was the 16th most important factor in employee retention.5 A toxic corporate culture, which includes poor managerial treatment of workers, dishonesty and a lack of ethics, disrespect, bullying, and abusive or cut-throat behavior, was 10.4 times more important than pay as a reason employees left employers.3, 4 In addition… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

8 ways to make your meetings zoom by

By Lynne Curry If you dread meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Not long ago, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time,” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. 1. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 2. Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me.” If your meeting attendees know from the start,… . . . read more

DRUGS & ALCOHOL

High at work: Anyone else smell that?

By Paul Edwards More often than you would think, we get calls from managers wondering what they can do about someone whom they think is impaired at work. When that happens, we immediately go into crisis control mode because, well, impairment at work is never acceptable. In this article, we are going to discuss impairment and odors from the perspective of marijuana legalization. From job candidates showing up to interviews smelling like a skunk to employees showing up to their shift distracted with bloodshot eyes, knowing how to handle an employee’s potential marijuana use has only gotten more complicated. Currently, marijuana legalization is in limbo between state versus federal government. While many states have moved to legalize or decriminalize its use, marijuana is still an illegal Schedule I drug under… . . . read more

TRAINING

Law firm training: Treat the injury, not the pain

By Doug Striker I have a broken foot. I’m 100% positive that it’s broken but initial X-rays showed nothing. So, I am booting for a couple of weeks until I can get another X-ray, which will surely show a stress fracture that was indiscernible in the early days of the injury. So, now I’m taking pain meds to get me through to the real diagnosis. Why am I telling you this? Because it reminds me of how some law firms approach training. Namely: There’s a pain point! Let’s train it away! But they need to figure out the structural/systems problems first. Otherwise, training is like ibuprofen— it will mask the pain, but it won’t make the real issues disappear. They need systematic training for law firms. The Harvard Business Review… . . . read more


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