Passion makes all the difference

January 27, 2011

Have you ever noticed a time where you feel extremely motivated and inspired to achieve a goal?  For me, I realize these feelings when I am completely immersed and passionate about something.  As I am in last few semesters of college, I realize more and more each day how much business, management especially,  inspires me.  Not only do I wish to become a leader, but I want to be the leading example to follow one’s passion. 

Business is always changing.  In knowing this, I am beginning to understand how not only passion, but ethics and morals are going to come into play.  In learning about ethical and moral decisions, I feel as though I need a good foundation of how I feel about certain aspects of business.   How do I feel about the gray areas of negotiations? Am I going to be able to live with certain decisions I am forced to make?  Will the company’s values run parallel to my own? 

My passion for business will most likely intertwine and come together with making ethical business decisions.  If I truly immerse myself, like I think I will, there’s not one goal or task that will be too large or demanding that I won’t be able to accomplish.  Yes, business is constantly changing, but one’s ethical and moral decisions behind it shouldn’t sway from one deal from the next.


Living to Work or Working to Live?

January 10, 2011

When I land one of my first “Big Girl” jobs, I’d like to think that I will love going to work everyday.  Waking up to great music, sun shining through the windows, fresh coffee brewing, and off to work with my briefcase I’d go!  I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Ya right girlfriend.”   For the most part, I did say that I would like to THINK this would happen, but I know pretty well that not everyday will be so glamorous. 

In knowing reality of today’s world, I would think the wisest bet would be to find a job or field that I am passionate about.  There’s nothing worse than dreading work day after day.  I have heard life experiences from both kinds of careers: ones that work to live and others who live to work.  I would like to think I could be a combination of the two.  I love the crazy curveballs that life throws my way, no matter if it’s at work or my off time.  I have a strong work ethic, in the fact that I like to accomplish things, no matter what it takes to make it happen.  I’m not sure if it’s a value that has been instilled in me since I was a young girl, or my work experiences thus far. 

No matter if you are the person who works to live, or if you live to work, promise me one thing: that you will go through life enjoying it.  The perfect job might be in the near future, or a few years in the making; don’t give up hope in finding something you feel passionate about.  Not only will your life have more value added to it, but those who will work around you will feel the positivity radiating off of you. 

Are you willing to work half of your life at a job that doesn’t reflect the person you truly are?


Great Training is the First Big Step!

January 9, 2011

When a new employee gets hired, dresses for the part, and arrives to work on their first day, how should training begin?  Nowadays, many organizations have  personality tests that are taken during the hiring process, in order to determine the type of personality they have.  From these results, the hiring manager will then decide who will train them, and how to approach their training process. 

As far as the trainer goes, a manager should pick wisely as to who will give the new employee their first look into the company.  Some new employees will base the first few weeks based off of their experience with their trainer; thus, it is a crucial time to make a positive and forward-looking impression on them.  The trainer should be someone who upholds the values of the company, experienced, easy to interact with, and very welcoming. 

Depending on the personality type of the new employee, a generic training style would be to begin with a tour of the business.  By allowing the new employee to see where main departments are, this helps them feel comfortable with their surroundings, and it is a great way to  begin introducing other employees to him/her.  After a tour, the trainer should begin doing hands on training in the department for which the employee was hired in. 

To track the progress of the new employee, the trainer should allow him/her to have some independence to see if they had grasped the main concepts.  If they are doing good, then tests for the first few weeks should be administered to see if they are truly understanding all the aspects within their job title.  After the new employee has seemed to earn their title, then, like other employees, reviews throughout the year will be done by management.

Of course, new employee personalities will fluctuate, but trainers should remain consistent in the delivery of experience and answers.  As an aspiring manager, I will hopefully pick the right trainers to add value to the company, and to the future of it too.


Rewarding Employees=Lower Turnover Rates

January 8, 2011

A pat on the back, a compliment, or a simple high-five from your boss after a job well done, may seem pretty standard, but it is very important.   A manager is always on the lookout: due dates, efficiency, productivity, sales, etc.  When you as an employee do a pheonomenal job, a good manager will take the time and show his/her appreciation.  Managers who show appreciation towards their employees will most likely have lower turnover rates. 

Let’s say we have two employees: Bert and Ernie.  Bert, an overachiever, determined employee gets sick during a crucial project deadline.  Ernie, the creative, easy-going employee likes to work in a different manner.  When Ernie had to step in and fill Bert’s shoes on this project, he had to do certain tasks he wasn’t quite fond of.  As the manager was an overseer, he/she was proud that Ernie was doing such a great job under certain circumstances.   Once the project was over, the manager made an announcement in front of the entire staff about what a great job Ernie did. 

 Ernie, never had been put in this situation, was very proud and felt a part of the company more so than before.  The manager now has more options than he did before, now knowing Ernie’s leadership qualities that were once hidden. 

Appreciation and rewards are things that many people strive for.  Getting a compliment from your manager to some, is like receiving a bonus.  Employees will a sense of reinsurance that they are doing their job correctly, and its also a motivational tool for future tasks.

Any compliments from your manager that made your day?


Reprimands: They Don’t Apply To Me, Right?

January 7, 2011

Having reprimands within a workplace are essential to maintaining large groups of employees. Reprimands traditionally have a step-wise progression: a disciplinary action that progressively becomes more threatening to their job status.  In having reprimands being an important factor in an implemented policy, it is crucial that everyone has a clear understanding of what actions lead to reprimands, which reprimands can occur, and the specific order they happen.

I don’t know about you,  but in all of my work experience, I have been given a clear understanding of disciplinary actions and the  importance of each one.  In every work environment, there will consistently be an employee who claims they, “never knew the consequences” or, “I know the boss, it’s ok. I won’t get in trouble.”  Having employees think they are excluded from reprimands are the first big no-no. 

To ensure that every employee understands what is expected of them, and the consequences of bad behavior, they must have the current policy explained to them during their hiring process, and again if the policy changes periodically.  This way, there are no excuses as to not receiving this information.  As far as the relationships formed with a manager previous to getting hired, rules need to be explained in a universal format.  The new employee/friend of the manager needs to understand that their relationship doesn’t exist inside the work environment-everyone is treated equally, given the same opportunities, and the same reprimands.

Why are reprimands important? Think of it this way: We pay taxes to pay for police officers.  The policy offers ensure a safe environment by taking speedy, drunk, and irresponsible drivers off the road; therefore we pay police officers to keep us safe.  If a city didn’t have a police department to monitor the roadways, many accidents, fatalities would occur more so than they do now and the innocent people would receive the repercussions. 

 In our case, the innocent people would be the customers in a business setting.  As being the “police” or business people, we have responsibilities to take care of our customers.  If we don’t properly do so, we should make sure there are ways to kick us back on track.


The Approachable Manager

January 6, 2011

Approachable?

 As you hear the word, “Manager”, you may automatically begin forming an image in your head: A big grumpy man who likes to point his finger down at his employees? Or how about a type of manager who LOVES having power over people? At first, that’s the stereotypical idea of what a manager ment to me too.  The one common theme that doesn’t reside in either of these examples are the “approachability” factor.  Without this characteristic, it would be hard to not become one of these managerial stereotypes.

People like people.  With that being said, employees will feel more trusting and confident in their abilities with an approachable manager.  For example, with an approachable manager, an employee will ask for the manager’s assistance when having difficulties figuring out a certain task.  By asking for a helping hand, the employee is making sure he/she wont make a costly mistake for the manager or the company at large.  This will also allow for the Manager to see his/her employee’s progress, or see how he/she operates in a different way than other employees; a way that can benefit the company as a whole.  

A reverse effect would be having a manager being un approachable.  In this case, an employee might feel as if his/her job is at jeopardy by asking a question; therefore, he/she could possibly make a mistake just by guessing which answer is the best.  This can turn into large problems=costly problems.

How does a manager become approachable one might ask?  First things are first: the manager needs to set the grounds for formality.  Employees need to know that the manager does have the ultimate decision-making power, and should understand that his/her job is very important.  Second, would be for the manager to have occasional meetings with the entire staff, making himself visible and involved in his job.  If the employees can’t connect the manager to the new policies or rules, they don’t believe he/she cares.  Third, the manager should always tell people he/she has an open door policy: if they need to talk to him/her, then the manager will do their best to be available.  Lastly, a manager should be doing some type of “hands-on” work with the employees.  Employees will respect the manager and acknowledge their understanding of the job tasks they deal with.

Remember: If the employees are happy, the customers are happy; If the customers are happy, then the manager is happy.  Being an approachable manager can ultimately come full circle and benefit all of those involved.

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Do any of you have an approachable/unapproachable manager? Do you have any experiences you would like to share?


Managing Type A and Type B Personalities in the Workplace

January 5, 2011

If I were to begin thinking that everyone within an organization had all the same talents, passions, ambitions, and characteristics, I would be considered crazy! This is the same when dealing with personalities.  Everyone has different childhood backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and outlooks, that form the type of personality they have.  The hard part is going to be able to  manage a large amount of people and approaching everyone the “right way”. 

In an Organizational Behavior class, I learned the two distinctive different personality types: Type A and Type B.  Type A, (being one myself) are the “go-getters”, ambitious, time oriented, and tend to stress themselves out by carrying a lot of different projects on their shoulders.  Type A personalities are also known to be the impatient kind; thus, as a manager of Type A’s, I would refer to my last blog post, about job enrichment.  By vertically job loading them, this will well suit them, in the fact that they will feel like they are able to handle any task given to them.  As an overseer, I would check in to see how things are going, without them feeling as though I am “babysitting” them.

Now, for the Type B’s in the group, a different approach may be needed.  Even though the same expectations are requested of both the A and the B type personalities, I foresee myself giving the Type B a different approach.  Traditionally, Type B personalities  are ones that don’t seem to look at work as a place of competition; rather, they rely on their creative side in order to complete each task.  Type B’s also don’t get very stressed out, since they have a very patient work ethic.  The trade-off between Type A and Type B could possibly be seen through the quality of the finished task.  Type A’s will do their work very quickly, spending less time on the detail oriented aspect,  while Type B’s will take their time and complete their work.  Type B’s will most likely have a better presentation in the end, due to the fact that their mind is set on one task at a time.

While giving Type B a set of tasks to complete may seem easy, I may need to set up additional requirements: due dates, rough drafts, etc.  By putting such requirements in place, this will motivate the Type B personalities to have a better sense of time awareness.

As far as deciding which type of personality is the best, that is uncertain.  Having both types of personalities within a work place will set up a sense of diversity with coming up with ideas, future plans, and ways to effectively approach work problems.  A work environment with only one type of personality will easily disintegrate, which is why I would say Type A and Type B personalities are like a balancing act; one needs the other to survive.

Do you have any personal experiences with another teammate, that had a different personality type than you? How did it turn out?