Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What makes a good listener?

Listening is the ability to accurately perceive a message conveyed by another person.
Based on studies of executives, the ability to understand other people's perspectives is the biggest single predictor of executive success.  Of those who fail as executives, only 24% had this skill; of those who succeed as executives, 75% have this special ability.*
Our attitude does affect our listening.  If we truly want to learn or understand, we will listen much better.  Listening does not come naturally to most people.  It is not passive but active, demanding a lot of effort and work.  To be a good active listener, you must look for underlying messages and meaning.  This is done by observing non-verbal cues, sensing feelings, putting yourself in the speaker's place, and trying to understand what he/she is really trying to communicate.
Active Listening Steps         
  • Create a Safe Place
  • Become Actively Involved
  • Avoid the Temptation to Evaluate
  • Search for Meaning
  • Confirm Your Understanding   
  • Bring Closure
 Listening is hard work.  Take responsibility to understand the content as well as the feelings that are being communicated to you.

*The Center for Organizational Design

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Friday, January 12, 2018

How do you manage your time?

Not having enough time has become a very common complaint both at home and at work. The essence of good time management is prioritizing what is most important to you and then disciplining yourself to accomplish those highest priorities first.

Time management is not so much about checklists, calendars, and scheduling as it is knowing what is most important in your life and making sure that the activities of your life are aligned with your values and priorities. 

Stephen Covey developed a Time Management Matrix to prioritize the activities of our lives.  There are two dimensions to the matrix:  urgent and important. 
  • Urgent matters are those that demand immediate attention, such as the telephone call from an irate customer, the report the boss asked for right away, etc.  We are reactive to the urgent.
  • Important matters are those that are aligned with long-term values, priorities, and goals, such as learning new skills, developing new products, or getting a college degree.  Important issues require us to be more thoughtful and proactive.
The way we get more time for those things that are most important to us is to stop doing the not urgent and not important:  time wasters such as idle chat, busywork, junk emails, mindless TV shows. Minimize the time allowed for the urgent but not important:  some meetings, some phone calls, some emails.  Successful people do this by saying “no” frequently.  Learn to say “no” to unimportant activities.

Time management is up to you.  Take some time and think about exactly what your true priorities are.  Spend more time on those things that are truly important to you.

If you are interested in learning more visit our website for information on our Time Management webinar.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

New Year's Resolution


Happy New Year!

Rather than "recycling" past New Year's Resolutions, 
set SMART goals and achieve them in 2018.
Click HERE for a template to get you started.
Our very best wishes for a happy, healthy & successful 2018.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Generation Gap in the Workplace Part 3

Monetary Rewards
  • Generation Z – Benefits, opportunity for advancement
  • Millennials – Stock Options
  • Generation X – Bonuses
  • Baby Boomers – Yearly pay raises
  • Traditionalists – Fair compensation/increases when goals met   
Gen Z: Preferred Communication Style
  • Traditional face-to-face
  • Telephone
  • Email, text is low on the list  
Millennials: Preferred Communication Style
  • Immediate Communication
  • IM, Chat, Text
  • Social Media
  • Cell Phones  
Gen X: Preferred Communication Style
  • Email is the main source
  • Phone during working hours
  • No buzz words  
Baby Boomers: Preferred Communication Style
  • Informal/Casual
  • Available Anytime
  • Phone or In-Person
  • Two-Way Communication  
Traditionalists: Preferred Communication Style
  • Face-to-face
  • Written memos and letters
  • Great level of respect
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Generation Gap in the Workplace Part 2

Motivational Factors for Generation Z
(Visual, Digital Engagement)

  • Flexibility is Key
  • Technology Essential
  • Casual Dress   
Motivational Factors for Millennials
(Optimistic and Multitaskers)
  • Structured environment
  • Sense of belonging
  • Mentoring
  • Constant feedback
  • Recognition from boss
  • Move forward quickly   
Motivational Factors for Generation X
(Independent and Adaptable)
  • Work independently
  • Having organizational goals
  • Making a difference
  • Flexibility
  • Welcome change
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Work-life balance  
Motivational Factors for Baby Boomers
  • Money Loyalty
  • Peer Recognition
  • Goal-Oriented
  • Don’t want conflict
  • Professional development
  • Promotions  
Motivational Factors for Traditionalists
(Loyal and Mentors)
  • Money
  • Loyalty
  • Respect for authority
  • Give directions and guidance
  • Lead
  • Add value to organization & society   
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Generation Gap in the Workplace Part 1

Recognizing, understanding, identifying and managing the different generation gaps in the workplace promotes a higher rate of productivity, employee engagement, effective communication and a more harmonious work environment We should understand the background, attitudes, and work styles of each generation in the workplace, to cultivate an environment that respects each generation’s perspective and way of life, and to increase engagement, teamwork, productivity and trust among the generations.
Background, Attitudes, and Work Styles
  • Communication is key
  • Recognize inherent talents and strengths
  • Clear procedures and techniques to achieve goals
  • Reach for the same objective in different ways   
The Generations
  • Generation Z Born 1996 – ?
  • Millennials (Gen Y) Born 1980 – 1995
  • Generation X Born 1965 – 1979
  • Baby Boomers Born 1946 – 1964
  • Traditionalists Born 1928 – 1945  
Job Searching Progression
  • New, Automated Methods
  • Technology such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. has transformed corporate culture and behavior
  • Communication Styles Different among Generations
  • Job Skillsets Have Evolved
  • Job Descriptions More Specific   
Traditional vs. Modern Interviewing Techniques
  • Corporate Headquarters vs. Remote Locations
  • Skype, Social Media Information
  • Dress for Success Different for Generations
  • Ability to Work Remotely More Common
  • Traditional Organizational Hierarchy Changing   
Respect Perspectives and Ways of Life
  • Life experiences
  • Values
  • Habits
  • Expectations
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Five Ways Managers Can Increase Employee Engagement by Rachel Stones, Guest Author

Are your employees going through the motions each day, or perhaps they’re simply doing enough to get by?  These are common traits of disengaged employees found in most workplaces across the world.  Disengaged employees are not invested in their work which can be manifested in their attitudes and the quality of their work.  So, how can companies turn disengaged employees into engaged ones?  The key is to start with management.

Management can set the overall tone in the workplace, especially where employee engagement is involved.  Read on for tips to help your leadership increase employee engagement.

Set the Example

Years ago, I saw a poster that read, “Attitudes are contagious; is yours worth catching?”  I feel this mantra is particularly applicable in the workplace.  Managers can set the example for their employees in just about every facet of the workplace, including habits, attire, attitude, and more.
If managers come into the office late and leave early, then their employees will be inclined to do likewise.  If the manager is pessimistic about the company trajectory, then employees might be inclined to feel similarly.
On the other hand, good managers work as hard as those who work for them.  They show up on time or in a lot of cases, early.  They are excited about the work they do, and that excitement spreads through their teams.  If your company leadership has a positive outlook and is always looking for ways to improve, that same attitude can impact employees.

Give Frequent and Consistent Feedback

Managers who frequently and consistently meet with their employees to give them feedback have employees who are more engaged, according to a report issued by Zenger Folkman. However, the feedback needs to be sincere and detailed to have the maximum effect.  Managers who develop a good relationship with their employees and who regularly provide constructive feedback give employees the information they need to change, improve, and succeed.

Recognize and Show Appreciation

A study by BambooHR showed the number one reason employees left a company when leaving because of their boss was due to their boss taking credit for their work.  Managers should avoid taking credit for their teams’ work at all costs, and the best way to do that is to develop a habit of recognizing and showing appreciation for your employees.
Managers can do this in a variety of ways.  Thank-you notes, verbal recognition (private and public), are examples that can help your employees feel valued and encouraged to continue producing great work.

Enable and Empower

Have you ever tried to plant a garden without any gardening tools?  It’s doable, but it’s much more time-efficient when you’re equipped with the right tools. The same principle applies in the workplace.  If your employee prefers working on a Mac versus a PC, buy him/her a Mac. If you want your employees to be innovative, then encourage (and fund) participation in additional educational opportunities related to the industry.  Enable and empower your employees by giving them right tools and opportunities to grow.

Encourage Involvement

Whether it’s a company barbecue or a client meet-and-greet, employees who are involved with their company daily are more inclined to be engaged.  Managers can set the example by their own participation, but they can also extend invitations and encourage their employees to be involved.

The Takeaway

Having engaged employees means having workers who are actively involved in the workplace.  Engaged employees are more productive and concerned about their own contributions as well as the performance of the company.  Management can play a key role in the engagement of company employees.  Share these tips with leadership to help guide them as they lead and manage their teams to success. 

Guest Author Bio

Rachel Stones loves to share business and HR tips with entrepreneurs.  She writes for Objective App Development the creators of Built for Teams, a complete HR system tailored specifically to the needs of small and medium sized businesses.  She also enjoys creative writing, gardening, and spending time with her family.