Relaxing at work – by novishari
Are you stressed at work? Quite probably – even if sometimes you are not aware of it. And it is equally likely that you have heard or been told that you should change your lifestyle in order to relieve this stress. Maybe you should work less. Sleep more. Do more exercise. Or drink less coffee, eat better, and so on.
It seems like a big project. Perhaps this is why you haven’t started yet.
While I strongly believe that long-term fundamental changes to our lifestyles is the ultimate answer to the problem of stress, I also believe that any small step that can reduce stress levels is very useful. In fact, such simple techniques can be the first steps towards some more fundamental lifestyle changes.
In this post we will look at four quick and simple 5-minute techniques that you can try TODAY; four simple methods to give you some relief here and now. Doing them several times a day can help you keep your stress levels down. Read More
Forcefeeding values – by novishari
One of my clients asked me the other day: “I know why having a vision is important. I get that. But what is the point of a value statement?”
I could see where he is coming from. There are so many companies whose value statements are only a list of mundane expressions such as “customer focus”, “excellence”, “cooperation” etc., which are posted on the walls of the corridors and on the company website.
Regarding these “value statements”, I fully agree with my client – there is absolutely no point to them. Read More
How to spare each other from the overuse of these three simple e-mail functions
In last week’s article I discussed typical ways in which the “CC”, “BCC” and the “Reply to all” functions get misused at workplaces. This week I will focus on possible solutions to those problems.
How can we change our e-mailing habits?
Have we got a problem with our e-mailing habits? Let’s change them. Let’s agree on some simple rules and then stick to them.
This approach often works. It helps people understand each other’s preferences. It helps to harmonise people’s communication habits. In this article I will give you some examples of such rules that can simplify e-mailing and reduce e-mail burden.
But there is a deeper layer to the CC-BCC issue that we shouldn’t ignore. Without fully understanding the root cause that makes people overuse or misuse the CC function, we will only be able to scratch the surface using our new guiding rules for e-mail use. The real problem won’t be solved.
It will just be another incident of bear-shaving: a superficial treatment of a much deeper problem.
Useful guiding rules to make e-mailing more efficient: Read More
How to drive each other crazy using three simple e-mail functions
Show me your e-mail habits, I will see your corporate culture
The way employees in an organisation use their e-mail can tell us a lot about the organisation’s culture. Is e-mail the main form of communication, or do people prefer calling each other or talking in person? How quickly do people reply to an e-mail they receive? Does the answer arrive promptly or does it take a week to get a reply? Are e-mails typically short and informal, or long, elaborate and very polite?
There are many aspects of e-mailing that would be worth looking at; however, in this article we focus on only one aspect: colleagues’ use of three related functions: CC, BCC and Reply all. Read More
As part of the Best of HR Project I recently had a very inspiring conversation with the regional HR manager (CEE) of a big international company, who told me about his experience of building a highly effective regional HR team. I am happy to share his story with you here.
When I received the regional HR manager’s position…
I was promoted into the regional HR manager’s position almost two years ago. These two years have been hard, but we have managed to build a regional HR team which is not only performing outstandingly, but is also fun to work in. I am sure it is possible to push a team to exceptional performance by putting a lot of pressure on them, but in the long run that isn’t sustainable. Instead, I wanted to create a culture of trust and openness. Read More
The other day I heard a song on the radio which I haven’t heard for about 25 years.
The thing is, when I last heard this song as a kid, I didn’t speak much English, so all I could understand was “Susana, Susana”. Now, however, I can follow the lyrics and my first thought is:
Why the hell did he pick up the phone?
(For those of you who don’t know the song, or are too professional to listen to it during working hours, here is the short summary of the story: The guy is having the perfect romantic moment with Susana. Just then the phone rings. He picks up only to find out that it was a wrong call. By the time he returns to the girl the “magic is gone, it is a disaster”. In fact, she soon gets up to leave.)
No wonder the magic is gone! You picked up the stupid phone! What did you expect?
I feel like saying the same thing to many managers who keep multitasking, picking up phones, sending texts and trying to hold a conversation simultaneously. Read More
Practical solutions to form a cohesive middle management team
“I don’t want to be bossy, it might spoil the team spirit.”
Anne is young and talented. She was the best in her team. No wonder she was the one to get promoted when their team leader went on maternity leave. But after 6 months of being the new team leader, she is in trouble. Her team’s performance is gradually decreasing.
“They are my friends after all,” she keeps saying. “Me and my team members have been working together for 4 years now. I don’t want to spoil the team spirit by becoming bossy all of a sudden. But then how can I make them perform better without being bossy?” Read More
One boss, two bosses, three bosses
One of the reasons many people struggle in matrix organisations is having multiple supervisors.
“It is difficult,” one senior employee comments. “My local boss sets the priorities, I start working, then at the 10 am morning meeting my regional boss from Germany has an idea and he needs me to come up with a first draft by tomorrow. I can’t clone myself, can I? Everybody seems to assume that I have my full working day to complete the task THEY set.”
The assertive-organised-good networking-quick learning matrix superhero
It is never easy to work in a matrix organisation. An employee needs many skills in place to cope with the demands of a matrix organisation. When I asked HR managers about this, they drew up with a long list of skills they consider when it comes to recruitment or development. Employees in a matrix are expected to be flexible, assertive and well organised. They must have good networking skills; they need to be proactive, but they must also quickly learn to say no… A good matrix worker needs to have many skills to succeed. Sometimes it almost seems that in order to cope with a matrix, one needs to be a superhero. And sure enough, companies invest a lot of their resources to improve their employees’ in those skills needed to cope with multiple supervisors. They send them to superhero training courses, they assign mentors to them until they become fully equipped to handle conflicting instructions well…
But how about looking at the situation from the bosses’ point of view?