Even experienced managers and supervisors can find themselves confused by the differences between a job description and a job ad. The two are distinct entities… with each playing its own unique role in the recruitment process.
It's a busy Monday morning, and half your team is out with the flu. While you're prepping for the afternoon's client presentation, one of your employees comes into your office to give you his two weeks' notice. Should you demand his company ID and tell him to leave right away, or let him continue to work for the two-week resignation period?
Did you know that work is the second most common source of stress after money? Worries about workload, job security, or work/life balance can all take a toll on your employees, causing symptoms such tension and irritability, inability to make decisions or concentrate, feelings of powerlessness and anger, physical ailments, and risky behaviors such as increased use of alcohol and drugs or even violence-- none of which make for a happy and productive workplace.
According to management expert and dean of Harvard Business School, Nitin Nohria, communication is the real work of leadership. And that doesn’t apply only to Fortune 500 companies. No matter the size of the organization, effective managers must be strong communicators to inspire and lead their teams. Unfortunately, with day-to-day business demands, communication skills are getting short shrift at too many companies. Today we’re going to give you a communication tune-up—a set of strategies and suggestions that will help keep your communications efforts on point.
1. Understand that whether you realize it or not, you’re always communicating. Your office environment, corporate culture, and treatment of customers and employees all say a lot about your company. Each of these contributes to your overall reputation in the marketplace or, if you prefer, your brand. As Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, says, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” So pay some attention to those branding elements, and make sure that the communications you telegraph are in line with your desired goals and reputation.
2. Encourage regular and ongoing feedback from managers and supervisors to employees. This should include both positive and negative, or constructive, feedback. Remember, no employee likes to be ambushed at review time with the news that he or she has underperformed or failed to meet a goal. The time to communicate this information is while the employee can actually do something to change the situation. Equally important, provide the resources necessary for your employees to make the changes and improvements you request.
Great managers are skilled at connecting with employees and motivating them to work productively as part of a team. Having strong managers is essential for building your company’s profitability and reputation as a great place to work. However, even great managers, with the best of intentions, can inadvertently make mistakes that might expose your company to lawsuits and fines.
Employee lawsuits are an unfortunate reality in today’s workplace, and a source of concern to employers. Even a completely baseless suit can cost six figures to defend; if there’s merit behind the charges, the legal bills, fines, and settlement fees can ruin a small business. Your managers, who are the first line of employee contact, have the power to minimize some of that exposure.
Let’s take a look at five moves your managers can make to reduce your risk of a lawsuit.
1. Document Everything. This starts with the interview and extends to every aspect of management and supervisory functions. Remember, any document can potentially be used as a piece of evidence in the event of a lawsuit, so managers must be thorough. As an employer, stress the importance of documentation, provide forms and guidelines for managers to follow, and establish procedures for where and how long such documents will be stored, being sure to comply with any requirements set by law. Furthermore, ask your managers to be honest in all aspects of documentation. Many managers, for example, are tempted to gloss over areas of weakness in written performance reviews. While they may be motivated out of kindness toward the employee, they are actually putting their companies at risk in the event such an individual is eventually fired. In all cases, the records must be accurate.
In the modern workplace, we are fortunate to embrace diversity in many forms. In all likelihood, your company or organization employs individuals of many different backgrounds and abilities. At times, these differences may require what is known as an accommodation--a change in the work environment (or in the way things are usually done) that enables an employee to perform the duties of his or her job while respecting the employee's disability or religious beliefs or practices.
Before we discuss ways to improve your corporate culture, let’s summarize 5 components to consider in your compensation and benefits package: