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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

Flexibility is the key to remote work practices

“The name of the game is flexibility,” says Carl Kutsmode, Senior Vice President at Talentrise, an executive search and talent management consulting firm, talking about the nature of remote work since the coronavirus pandemic. Kutsmode discusses how the pandemic has changed the workforce, likely for good. Additionally, his perspective provides tips to help employers adapt to new business and networking practices in a post-pandemic world. Pandemic’s push for career reevaluations The confinement of the pandemic enabled people to pause, reconnect with their families, and establish a work-life balance that had not existed to such an extent before 2020. As the world slowly moves away from the pandemic’s restrictions, employees are motivated by new, different factors than they once were and, as such, have different expectations of their employer. As the… . . . read more

REMOTE WORK

Make online team meetings work for you

By Lynne Curry If you dread online meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Recently, 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. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 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, they’ll receive value,… . . . read more

RECRUITING

How to attract new staff in the post-pandemic job market

By Lynne Curry The pandemic has changed employees and what they want out of a job. It’s up to employers to recognize these new attitudes toward work and figure out how to attract good staff. See if you relate to the situation described here by a manager in another industry, and if you can use some of the advice.  Question: I always thought I was a good manager. Not anymore. I feel outgunned by what’s happened with my employees. A third of them have left for “better” jobs. The ones who’ve stayed have made it clear they expect higher wages and to work from home when they want.  The woman we hired to handle HR and accounting tells us she’s doing her best, but she hires “the best of the… . . . read more

TELEWORK

Remote staff keeping up with on-site staff, survey shows

When it comes to productivity, workers share more similarities than differences, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. A survey of more than 500 professionals reveals five productivity trends that have taken shape since the shift to remote work. Productivity peaks early in the week. Employees get the most done on Monday and Tuesday, whether at home or in the office. Results are consistent with a similar survey conducted in 2019, before the rise of remote and hybrid work. Professionals have defined power hours. Most workers hit their stride in the late morning (9 a.m. to noon) and early afternoon (1 to 4 p.m.), regardless of where they sit. Very few tackle their to-dos during lunch or evening hours. Meetings are getting in the way. When asked to share what… . . . read more

STAFF RETENTION

Over half of workers would quit if required to return to office

After two years of office spaces sitting empty, many companies are eager to call employees back for good. In a survey of more than 800 senior managers, more than half of respondents (55 per cent) said they want their teams to work on-site full time as COVID-19-related restrictions ease, nearly unchanged from a similar survey  conducted last year. Currently, 44 per cent of senior managers support long-term hybrid schedules (where staff can divide time between the office and another location) and employees’ ability to choose where they work. Managers at large companies with 1,000 or more employees (54 per cent) are most open to flexibility, according to the survey conducted by Robert Half, a specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm. The risk of an employee exodus Separate research from… . . . read more

TRAINING

8 simple steps to improve virtual presentations

Today’s hybrid workplace means you may have to conduct training and information sessions for remote staffers. You need to know how to best present yourself and your material virtually, using tools such as PowerPoint slide shows. Consider these tips to ensure your audience gives full attention to your presentation without being distracted by glitches. Format your virtual presentation so it’s easy to read and follow. Use text sparingly on each slide and ensure the text you use is large enough to read. Use visuals/videos that are engaging but also easy to view and follow. Limit the overall number of slides and transitions. Consider sharing your virtual presentation slides separately. If you have the ability, consider sharing your virtual presentation slides or other visuals with your staff ahead of time or… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

7 things to require of your moonlighting employees

By Lynne Curry “One of our highly paid professionals works remote. We don’t want to lose his talent, but he used to work 45 to 55 hours a week and now half the time I can’t find him when I call. He always calls me back, but it’s hours later. Last year, he was the first to volunteer for special projects. He doesn’t anymore. I heard a rumor he’s working another job, and I’m wondering if we’re getting what we’re paying for.”     “I found this site, overemployed.com. It taught me how to work two or three remote jobs at the same time and attain financial freedom. It even shows me how to negotiate a severance if one of the employers finds out and gets nasty.1”             In recent weeks,… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

Clocked out or connected: What you need to know about after-hours group chats

By Paul Edwards “Quick question…” Those two words have become increasingly popular as our near-constant attachment to communication devices blurs the line between work and personal time. Whether by phone, laptop, or tablet—via Slack, WhatsApp, or Google Chat—it’s easier than ever for teams to stay in contact after the workday is done. But employers need to be cautious about how they approach group conversations outside of the workplace. Not only will you need to ensure that your employees are clear on the standards for professional conduct within a group chat or text, but whether or not you have to pay employees for the time they spend messaging will depend on several factors, including the content of the messages, how much time is spent messaging, and whether the employees are classified… . . . read more


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