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MANAGING STAFF

Making hybrid work: Charting a new playbook for a future-ready workplace

By Lynne Curry Employers thought employees would want to come back to their offices, where they had easy access to equipment, coworkers, and managers. They were wrong. COVID-19 untethered us from our traditional workplaces and many employees don’t want to return. Employees enjoyed the flexibility and freedom, sometimes from micro-managing supervisors, they had when working from home. They discovered they could better balance home and work when they didn’t have to commute or leave home for eight hours daily. When the C-suite consulting firm McKinsey & Company surveyed more than 5,000 employees, it reported three-quarters of them want to work from home two or more days per weekly, with more than half of them wanting to work from home at least three days a week.1 Given this disconnect, if employers… . . . 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

WELLNESS

Worker well-being a priority for US employers, but program usage falters

Over the last year, workers around the world have been struggling with mental health issues—particularly burnout and isolation. As employers prepare for a post-COVID-19 world, a more holistic view of worker well-being is key to helping employees at all levels manage stress and remain engaged. A new report from The Conference Board, Holistic Well-Being @Work, examines what organizations are doing to implement more comprehensive well-being initiatives and offers recommendations for building healthier, resilient work environments. As the report details, while organizations recognize the importance of a holistic well-being strategy, many struggle to build a fully integrated approach, with low program participation and limited resources cited as the top barriers to success. Featured in the report are results from two surveys, including one of more than 200 practitioners responsible for their organizations’… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Listening as if you mean it: an important managerial skill

By Lynne Curry It’s easy to give an excuse for not listening. You don’t have time; the speaker rambles or bores you. You already know what you’re about to hear. It’s harder to admit you’re a poor listener—isn’t listening something we do all the time? No. The opposite proves true. Most of us find it hard to listen to someone who has something to say we don’t want to hear. We instinctively interrupt, tune out, or wait until the speaker finishes and then say what we wanted to say in the first place. The result—we miss hearing information we later wish we’d heard; we fall easily into “yes…but” arguments in which neither you nor the other person comes to terms with each other’s viewpoint. We sacrifice opportunities to draw out… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Amid higher productivity, 43% of US workers question need to return to workplace

Are you having trouble convincing your staff to return to the office? So are many employers. More and more offices plan to reopen their doors in the coming months, but will their workers show up? Amid higher productivity, 43 percent question the wisdom of returning to the workplace at all. The new survey by The Conference Board reveals a notable shift in employees’ greatest return-to-work concerns. Once dominant fears of contracting COVID-19 or exposing family members to it now lag behind anxieties about returning at all, dropping by nearly half in the last nine months. Moreover, a clear divide among workers emerged, with lower-level employees, women, and millennials questioning the need to return to the office at higher rates than their counterparts, despite expressing more concern about mental health.  … . . . read more

HIRING

An employee cyberstalks potential hires, looking for dirt

By Lynne Curry  According to rumor, one of my co-workers conducts unauthorized criminal background investigations on prospective employees without their knowledge or permission. This cyber-snoop doesn’t work in human resources but collects information and passes it along to the hiring managers. She’s also been known to interrogate employees after they’re hired about information she’s learned. We’ve also been told that, despite being married, this employee masquerades as a single woman on dating sites and essentially cyberstalks her targets. My co-workers and I don’t know what to do about this employee, as our members of our senior leadership team have indicated they support this woman one hundred percent. What can those of us who find this repugnant do about it? Answer:  According to employment and labor attorney Paul Wilcox, “It’s not surprising… . . . read more

The pandemic changed employees: Can managers adapt?

By Lynne Curry “The employees who return to the office after a year of remote work aren’t the employees their bosses remember” says a June 12 Wall Street Journal article.1 Remote work changed how employees want to work. Employees that tasted independence don’t want to give it up. Employees who felt betrayed lost trust in employers. What do managers and employers need to understand? Shift from managing to coaching: Even pre-pandemic, most employees preferred managers who outlined “here’s where we’re going and why” and set clear expectations and goals to those who micro-managed. “After a year of working in solitude,” notes the WSJ article, employees “expect more control over how, when and where their work gets done and to have greater autonomy relative to their managers and organizations.”1 This challenges… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

The top 8 policies to include in your employee handbook

By Krystal Barghelame  What is an employee handbook? An employee handbook is an important living document for your employees that outlines your company policies, history, and culture for current and future employees. Although 87% of businesses with 10 to 200 employees have employee handbooks, HR experts agree that it’s best practice to start a handbook as soon as you hire your first employee, because it defines expectations and can protect you legally. Here are the main policies you’ll want to record in that employee handbook: Onboarding and joining the team One of the top motivations for businesses to create an employee handbook is to train new hires. So, kick things off by laying out the basics that every employee should know before coming through the front door. The employee onboarding section… . . . read more

CYBERSECURITY

16 online safety tips for your telecommuters

Some of your staff may have opted to continue to work from home. Here are 16 reminders about online safety practices. While it’s a convenient—and often, necessary—setup, it’s not without its challenges. Working efficiently when you have children, dealing with distractions, and fightung off feelings of isolation when you work remotely are all common issues when you clock in and out of a home office. But there’s another less-talked-about threat a lot of employees don’t consider: cybersecurity. Online safety has become an increasingly important topic in our ever-changing digital world, but people who work from home need to be especially vigilant in taking digital security seriously. Not taking necessary precautions could not only slow down your productivity, it could also have major business ramifications. Our guide explains everything you need… . . . read more

WELLNESS

How managers can help with employee mental health

By Robert Half Continued stress has long been an impediment to a healthy workplace, especially when it leads to burnout—increased mental detachment from the job and reduced effectiveness. In a 2019 Robert Half survey of managers, a staggering 96% said their employees experience burnout to some extent. And in a related poll, 91% of workers themselves reported feeling at least somewhat burned out. And then came COVID-19 The anxiety and uncertainty associated with the pandemic has further gnawed away at mental well-being for many managers and employees. New stressors for home-based workers often included larger workloads due to leaner staffing, not being able to interact with colleagues in person and the challenge of caring for children or elders during the workday. In a 2020 global study by Qualtrics, SAP and… . . . read more


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