4 Holiday Workplace Problems and How to Avoid Them

4 Holiday Workplace Problems and How to Avoid Them

Holidays can be just as stressful as they are happy, both for managers and employees. Planning can help businesses avoid some of the common problems that go along with the season. Let’s jump right into ways to head off some of the most common seasonal problems before they occur.

The Christmas Party

You’ve seen the worst-case scenario in the movies, and you might have experienced it in real life as well. People get caught up in the celebration and forget they’re at a work-related event. Set the tone early and avoid potential problems by planning ahead. Review the employee handbook together and let all staff know the same standards apply at company-sponsored events.

In your invite, mention attire. When you specify business casual or business formal (or even have an ugly sweater party), you’re less likely to have employees show up dressed in after-hours clothing.

If you’re serving alcohol, avoid an open bar, issue drink tickets or hire a bartender you can trust to keep things in check. Serve good food constantly. Make sure you have options for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Be aware not everyone celebrates Christmas. Make your holiday party voluntary and hold it outside of work hours. Let everyone know they’re welcome, but don’t force or require attendance.

Scheduling Conflicts

Another huge problem for employers during the holidays is that everyone wants off at the same time. It’s understandable people want to be with their families during the holidays, and often that means travel. Cold and flu season starts at the same time, further complicating issues.

Employees have lots to do with holiday shopping, entertaining and travel. Prepare to receive more time-off requests than normal. Consider using flex time as a reward, or implementing a rotating schedule for employees who complete tasks early and want to take a morning or afternoon for personal tasks.

Announce your policy for approving absences early, and set a deadline for requests. Some bosses approve based on seniority, others take a first-come-first-served approach.

Decreased Productivity

Your staff has more to do during the holidays, but you still have a business to run. Accept the fact employees are going to be distracted, and then make plans to create fresh energy and engagement.

Consider planning office competitions based around the holidays, with time off or small perks for teams who reach their goals. Boost morale with more flexible holiday hours. Publicly recognize and reward employees who give 100 percent every day of the year.

Not Enough Employees

Sometimes office problems happen because there’s too much work and not enough people to keep up. It’s not too late to hire seasonal or temporary help to get you through the busy 2019 holidays. Contact Brelsford Personnel to find out more.

Rituals That Help You Leave Work Stress at the Office

Rituals That Help You Leave Work Stress at the Office

Does this sound like you? You give 100 percent all day at work, and by the time you leave, you’re mentally exhausted. On your commute, you go back over the day’s events and all the things you meant to get to but didn’t. You stop by the grocery store and shop with the rest of the tired after-work crowd and their hungry, cranky kids and finally make it home.

Your spouse had the same intense kind of day you did, so when you see each other you’re both short-tempered, and sometimes tempers flare. Earlier in the day you meant to cook a healthy meal and exercise, but now your heart just isn’t in it. Half of your mind is still processing work problems, and your evening just makes you more stressed and exhausted.

If that sounds like most nights in your household, consider changing up your after-work routine. Rituals allow you to decompress and leave stress at the office so you can relax while you’re home and reconnect with family instead of turning home into a stressful environment.

Why Establish an After Work Routine

Experts at Psychology Today studied distressed couples and found many arguments aren’t triggered by money or substance abuse, but by the inability to transition from work to home. Someone said or didn’t do the right thing during initial interactions and the disagreement and tension escalated as the evening went on. In contrast, people who had rituals that allowed themselves to transition were much less likely to experience that type of disagreement.

Even if you’re not coming home to family members, it’s beneficial to have transition rituals. When you set clear boundaries between work and personal life, you allow yourself much needed time to recharge. Here are a few suggestions for creating an after-work routine.

Before You Leave Your Desk

Start the transition at work. Take a few minutes to clear away what you completed and won’t need the next day. Write down the tasks you need to work on first thing in the morning, then as you place your note where you’ll see it, mentally picture setting those tasks aside. You’re not going to forget, so there’s no need to worry about them on the way home.

On the Way to Your Car

Transitioning rituals are intentional. At work, interactions revolve around the jobs that need to be done. Reward or punishment is tied to performance. At home, every person has value, regardless of their performance. You have a different type of to-do list, but interactions should provide affection and support. When you go home you’re not just changing physical locations, you’re shifting your mindset.

As you cross the parking lot to your vehicle, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Picture exhaling the day’s stress like a cloud of black smoke, then let it float away.

During Your Commute

As you start your car, take a minute for gratitude. Mentally list three things about your home life for which you are thankful.

As you drive, be intentional about letting go of stress. Now isn’t the time to catch up on the news. Instead, play music that improves your state of mind. For some people that might mean upbeat, happy tunes. Others unwind with relaxing music. If you need a dose of positivity, consider a comedy monologue.

Entering Your Home

A lot of people feel rushed at work, then when they get home they rush to cook dinner, help with homework, get kids bathed and off to bed, then knock out tasks for the next day. When you enter your home, take a brief pause and be both mentally and physically still.

Before you walk through the door, recognize what’s inside is part of the reason you go to work every day. Your family, your pets, your friends and your hobbies give meaning to your life. If other people live with you, seek them out, and make your first interactions positive ones.

Taking Care of Yourself

When you make your weekly grocery run, stock up on easy-to-grab healthy snacks. Eat one while you take a few minutes to unwind. Nourish your body before you’re starving and you won’t be as tempted to have Waitr bring you pizza. After you grab a snack, spend time doing your favorite physical activity to work stress and tension out of your muscles and blast your brain cells with endorphins.

Finding a Job You Love

If your job is making it difficult for you to enjoy the rest of your life, maybe it’s time for a change. Check out our online job postings to see if one might be a fit for you.

How to Answer Interview Questions Like a STAR

How to Answer Interview Questions Like a STAR

We all know that feeling of anxiety that builds up in your stomach before something big happens. We’ve felt the knots that make you feel like you want to pass out, or the fluttering that begs you just to get it over with. Interviews bring out the nerves in almost everyone.

And no wonder, the stakes are high. If you aren’t able to articulate your strengths, you could see your hopes for a better job, more income, less stress and more professional satisfaction go right down the drain. If you’re successful you could land the career you’ve been dreaming about. Calm your anxiety and focus your energy using the STAR method.

What is the STAR Method?

The STAR method is a formula for answering behavioral interview questions in a way that clearly demonstrates your qualifications for the position. It allows you to tell a story that equally answers the question and shows off your skills.

Many employers ask behavioral interview questions to discover how you reacted in past situations. They usually begin with something like, “Tell me about a time when…”

Interviewers ask these questions to get an insight into the type of employee you are, so they can establish whether they wish to hire you. These questions can be overwhelming, but the STAR method gives a framework you can use to answer them.

  • Situation – The first step to delivering a clear and concise answer to behavioral interview questions is to set the stage. Establish a context for the situation by giving the interviewer a little background information. Basically, describe the scene in just a few words or sentences.
  • Task – Next, describe your role and the obstacle you faced. Were you in charge of a project? In a management position?
  • Action – Explain how you overcame the conflict. Try to focus on how you specifically solved the problem, not on those around you. “I did this” rather than “we did this.”
  • Result – What was the outcome and how did it benefit the organization? If you have specific examples, this would be the time to use them. Say something like, “Sales went up by 10%” or “The cost of labor went down by 10%.”

Acing Your Interview

If you have a clear plan for answering interview questions, fear and anxiety have less room in your life. You can speak with confidence. But how do you apply the STAR method?

Prepare for the interview ahead of time by thinking of past experiences that exemplify the values listed in the job description. If you have several solid examples that you have already thought of, then you will be prepared for the interview. If you’re worried about the questions your interviewer might ask, check out How Would You Answer These 7 Common Interview Questions? Practicing your responses to these questions may help you succeed when it comes time for your interview.

Brelsford Personnel has plenty of positions to fill. If you’re ready to put the STAR method to the test, be sure to check out our online postings.

Bad Boss or Motivational Leader – Which One Are You?

Bad Boss or Motivational Leader – Which One Are You?

Do you want to know the real reason good employees quit? In the State of the American Workplace report, Gallup CEO John Clifton said, “The single biggest decision you make…is who you name as manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that decision. Not compensation, not benefits, nothing.” So how do you make sure you’re getting that vital part right?

If you’re a manager, your responsibilities boil down to hiring the right people, then keeping them engaged. When administrators rely on their position to keep employees on task, that’s positionship, not leadership. If people do what you tell them to just because you’re the boss and you say so and they’re trying to avoid disciplinary action, they start to feel resentment and apathy.

Most people don’t think of themselves as a bad boss. Usually, they’re just very busy and trying to get things done. The difference is as much about how you think as what you do. Which of the following most describes how you operate in common workplace situations?

Planning

Poor managers primarily focus on what’s right in front of them. They feel like they’re always putting out fires, so they have time for little else. They know the next project, deadline or challenge is looming ahead, but they reason they’ll deal with that when they have to, today has enough trouble of its own.

Leaders tend to think long-term by default. Even when they’re solving today’s problems, they’re thinking how they can do so in a way that reaches future goals.

Workflow and Processes

Poor managers measure efficiency on each task in isolation, hyper-focusing on one process or system. Employees complain they micro-manage because they want to control how staff completes every step. They equate success with getting the job done, then quickly moving on to the next.

Good leaders work on hiring, supporting and nurturing the most talented people and helping them identify creative solutions and effective processes. They know one person can’t force several to be consistently creative and productive, but teams can be inspired to do so on their own steam. Consistent growth is as important as getting things done.

Raises

Poor managers think pay is motivation. There’s some truth to that – most people show up every day instead of relaxing at home because they have to pay the bills, and everyone likes a raise. But employees don’t stay motivated and engaged just because they get a check with pay in line with their skills and experience. It’s possible to make piles of money and still hate your job.

Good leaders know employees need more than that. They’re motivated to do their best when they’re challenged, supported and cared for. They offer other incentives besides money, so they get better results.

Workplace Relationships

Employees describe poor managers as always busy, hard to have a conversation with, distracted and impatient. When staff members approach them with a need or request, they’re preoccupied, and they dismiss themselves as quickly as possible. When employees hold a different opinion on how something should be done, they might quickly shut them down.

On the other hand, when employees feel like leaders are interested in them and in working with them to find solutions. Leaders are more social. They don’t just think in terms of meeting work goals; they try to help employees meet personal and professional goals along the way. They cultivate talent and creativity instead of feeling threatened by it.

Employee Motivation

Poor managers rely on financial reward and the fear of punishment as motivation. If workers do a good job, they get raises or bonuses on a set schedule. If they don’t, they receive critical evaluations, write-ups or whatever else their organization uses for discipline.

Good leaders have more tools available, because they know how to motivate individually. Some employees appreciate public recognition, others would rather work behind the scenes and receive extra paid time off.

Hire Strong Leaders

Strong leaders are hard to find. At Brelsford Personnel, we’ve been placing executives and administrators since 1988. Check out our online positions or get in touch today.

The (Previously) Unwritten Rules of Office Messaging Etiquette

The (Previously) Unwritten Rules of Office Messaging Etiquette

Real-time messaging applications have become extremely popular in the workplace. As you use any tool more frequently, there’s a greater possibility of making mistakes.

It’s so easy to just type out a message to your boss or co-workers and send it without considering the consequences. Save yourself from embarrassment by following these simple rules.

Don’t Flood the Feed

It is annoying to receive multiple messages from the same impatient sender when you step away from your phone for a minute. It is just as annoying (if not more so) when it happens at work.

If your coworker isn’t responding at first, don’t keep prodding them. They will answer you when they have a moment, and will appreciate you giving them time to respond.

Don’t Overuse Emojis

Emojis shouldn’t be part of every message. It’s okay to use one occasionally, but your coworkers don’t want to see forty laughing emojis when you think something is funny. One has just the same effect.

If someone has done something great, then emojis can give expression to your enthusiasm. When you use emojis judiciously, and thoughtfully they enhance your communication. However, using them for everything is unprofessional and not effective.

Emojis are like salt. Adding them to your conversation in moderation makes it flavorful, while overdoing it leaves a bad taste.

Punctuation and All Caps

One exclamation point or question mark will do. Also, as with most online communication, if you use all caps it’s as if you’re yelling.

Don’t Forget You Can Still Email

If you have large attachments or huge blocks of information you need to pass along, put it into an email instead or a text. When you clog the feed with huge verbal chunks, people can’t keep up with all the details.

Carefully crafted email allows for important information to be more appropriately organized. Readers can easily find the information later when they need to remember what the sender said.

Be Aware

  • Don’t use swear words – It isn’t uncommon for people to use curse words in their texting. With your friends and family, it may not be a big deal. At work, you should avoid even acronyms that stand for swear words. Mainstream phrases and abbreviations that are funny outside of work don’t always seem that way in professional conversation.
  • Use caution with slang and acronyms – Stick with plain English and standard grammar unless you’re positive the receiver will understand what you’re sending and the language nuances behind it.
  • Remember everyone can see it – Your coworkers and your bosses can see the conversation, so don’t share personal information about yourself or others. Avoid gossip and refrain from criticizing your coworkers.
  • Tailor your speech – Be aware of who you are speaking to. If you’re talking to your coworkers, it’s usually okay to be a bit more casual than you would be if you were talking to your boss. Don’t let the form of communication take away from your level of respect.

Every Bit Counts

Everything you say to your boss and coworkers can be recorded by office messaging applications, so keep that in mind when you communicate over text. Apps can be a tool that helps you work more efficiently, or they could waste time and damage your professional image.

Don’t let your instant messaging take away from the hard work you put in. Be your most professional self when you’re on the job and save more relaxed communication for after hours.

Better Listeners Make Better Employees – Here’s How to Get There

Better Listeners Make Better Employees – Here’s How to Get There

Listening skills are treasured in the workplace and are key to becoming an effective leader. Active listening takes practice, but it’s worth the effort because in return, you gain effective working relationships. Keep reading to find out how better listening skills benefit you and how to start becoming a better listener today.

Why is it Important?

People in every role should know generally what’s going on in the workplace. Your ability to listen can significantly impact your working environment in a number of ways.

Gain Information

Listening is about gaining knowledge and acting on it at every level. You need good listening skills whether you’re an interviewer evaluating an interviewee or employee collaborating with your team. When you demonstrate good listening skills, the workplace runs more smoothly.

Build Trust

If you have good listening skills, your co-workers, employees, or supervisors trust you with information. The opposite is also true. When someone doesn’t listen to instructions, they make mistakes. Managers can’t trust them to do the job right because they don’t pay attention to important details.

How Can You Improve Your Skills?

There are a few simple steps you can take to start becoming a better listener. When you do, you’ll start to see improvement in your relationships with other supervisors, employees and customers.

  • Focus – Make sure to give the person to whom you are speaking your full focus. Keep your phone in your pocket and resist the urge to look at other distractors in the room. Electronic notifications and office fires vie for your attention, but deal with one issue at a time. When you repeatedly look away from someone who is trying to talk to you, it sends a message that you are bored or don’t care.
  • Don’t interrupt – Interrupting is rude, and it also makes the other person feel you don’t think what they have to say is important. It can lead to resentment and later conflict.
  • Ask for it in writing–When a conversation has a lot of details say something like, “I want to make sure I get all that right. When you get a minute, would you send me a text or an email with the details of what we just talked about?” Or write down the conversation yourself and ask if they could review it.
  • Pay attention to nonverbal cues – The speaker’s facial expressions, their posture, and their tone of voice will tell you what they are saying and perhaps more importantly, what they aren’t saying.

Take note of your own nonverbal cues as well. Make eye contact, stay turned toward the speaker and lean just slightly in. These sorts of things communicate whether you value their input.

Impacting Your Environment

A bad listener causes problems in the workplace. They might neglect to follow instructions when working with a group and cause the entire project or process to fail. In contrast, a good listener is aware of what is going on and follows instructions, leading to success.

Your experience as an employee relies strongly on your listening skills and can mean the difference between whether you are hired and promoted or demoted and fired. Better listeners make better employees.

The next time you speak to someone, first stop and think. You can practice your listening skills even in the simplest of conversations, and who knows? You may encourage others to do the same.

Good listeners make valuable employees. Employers may be looking for someone like you. Apply today.

Personal Tragedy in the Workplace – Showing Support While Respecting Privacy

Personal Tragedy in the Workplace – Showing Support While Respecting Privacy

When you spend 40 hours a week with the same people, you share success and stress, trials and triumph. You get close. But when someone experiences a personal tragedy, it can be hard to know how to react.

When a co-worker experiences a death in the family, divorce, serious illness or other difficult circumstance, you want to show you care, but you also don’t want to overstep boundaries. They may take some time off, but that’s not long enough to heal from a crisis. Here are tips for showing support.

Stay Away from These Phrases

When you don’t know what to say, it’s tempting to use phrases you’ve heard before. Avoid statements like the following:

  • I know exactly how you feel.
  • At least now he/she is in a better place.
  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • You can always try again.
  • God never gives us more than we can handle.

Your goal is to be supportive and say the right things, but those statements minimize what they’re going through. Plus, they’ve probably heard the same clichés from others, and it gets harder each time they’re repeated.

Avoid Comparisons

There may come a time when you can share what happened to you, but immediately after the tragedy, try not to compare what happened to your co-worker to what you or someone else you know experienced. Also, try not to offer advice unless your co-worker asks for it.

Every loss happens differently, and mourning is an individual process. You can let them know you experienced a similar loss and you’re available if they want to talk, then just leave it at, “I can’t imagine what this is like for you.”

But Don’t Avoid Your Co-Worker

Every time you see them, you hurt for what they’re going through. You don’t want to say or do the wrong thing, so it’s tempting to try and stay away. There’s nothing you can do to “fix” what they’re feeling, but you can let them know they’re not alone and that you care.

When you have a chance to talk in private, make eye contact and offer your condolences. Listen if they want to talk, and if not just be there. Send them a text every so often to let them know they’re in your thoughts.

Mail a Card

Tangible evidence of support matters. Buy a greeting card with an appropriate message and give everyone at the office time to write a brief message, then drop it in the mail. That allows everyone to express their concern and willingness to be available. Written words get read again and again. They end up as keepsakes that later, when the person has had time to heal, are evidence of the people who were there for them at the very worst times.

Start a Meal Train

It’s almost always helpful to bring food, and believe it or not, there’s an app for that. Meal Train has a free plan that allows you to create an online meal calendar, designate where co-workers should drop off food, warn about food allergies or meal preferences and send invites through email or social media. People who don’t cook but still want to participate can show support with a gift card or restaurant meal.

There’s no timeline for healing from a tragedy, and the process is difficult. Your co-worker will appreciate your support and concern throughout the process.

How Would You Answer These 7 Common Interview Questions?

How Would You Answer These 7 Common Interview Questions?

A job interview can tie your stomach and your nerves in knots. How nervous you get is often directly related to how badly you want the job. The better the opportunity seems, the more you worry about saying or doing something that will blow your chances.

Our East Texas staffing firm does quite a bit of interviewing. We have decades of experience identifying the perfect candidate for each position. We’ve also heard responses that have us disqualifying candidates. Here we share common interview questions and advice for formulating answers that show who you are and what you know.

Interview Questions Do’s and Don’ts

Before we get to the list of interview questions, you need to know how to use it. There are countless articles online that tell you questions and what to say. It’s great to do your research, but you don’t want to just memorize a script.

Don’t just pull up what Monster or Indeed say about how to answer interview questions and parrot that back to an interviewer. Those resources are out there for everyone. Your interviewer has likely heard them from some of the applicants they met with before you. If you bring the same canned response, it says you’re either lazy or ingenuine.

Do look over the list of interview questions and make them into a mental exercise. Picture yourself in the interviewer’s office. Come up with your own answers and connect them to a work experience you’ve had in the past. Offer real-life examples to show you have hands-on experience with what they’re looking for.

Don’t stop at the end of the list. Here we’re providing common interview questions for the general portion of your interview. It’s always better to over-prepare than to under-prepare.

Do research the company and position requirements. Every profession has skill and job-related questions specific to their industry. If you’re searching online, be specific. For example, you might search for “Interview questions for accounting job” or whatever title is appropriate for your interview.

Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Tell me about yourself. Succinctly outline your most recent role. Highlight past accomplishments or contributions.

Why do you want to work here? Your interviewer wants to know whether or not you did your homework. Prepare an answer that relates to company values or how your skills pair well with their specific products or services.

Why are you leaving (did you leave) your current (or previous) job? Don’t trash your old boss or complain about your previous employer. Prepare a response that mentions how you learned new skills there and are looking forward to contributing in your next position.

What are your biggest strengths? Look at the list of job requirements. Offer examples of skills and character traits that make you a good fit.

What are your greatest weaknesses? Your interviewer isn’t looking for huge personal failings. Think where you would like to improve professionally and answer candidly. For example, a teacher might say, “I plan to work on giving students more detailed feedback this year” or an office assistant might say, “I’ve realized I’m better at number crunching and data collecting than I am at writing. So I’ve started using grammar apps to make sure I don’t miss little mistakes in email and office documents.”

Tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it? Your interviewer wants to know how you solve problems and deal with personal conflict. Think back through your employment history and share an example that shows your human side.

What are your salary expectations? Have an idea what’s normal for your profession and experience, then just answer frankly. Try not to overshoot or undershoot on desired salary.

Why should we hire you? Again, look over the job requirements and prepare a related answer.

Search East Texas Jobs

Brelsford Personnel has a range of job openings to fill. Browse our online postings and submit your application online today.

Training Tip – Teach Soft Skills to New Hires

Training Tip – Teach Soft Skills to New Hires

When you hire someone for your entry-level position, you expect to provide training on tasks the job requires. However, many employers often overlook teaching soft skills when they hire someone who is just entering the workforce. Teens and college students may know how to use a computer, provide correct change and stock shelves, but not understand the basics of professional communication and collaboration.

The problem isn’t just with teens. A recent survey found 44 percent of executives said soft skills are the biggest gap they see in the U.S. workforce. They might be the most important skills for new hires to learn, since 67 percent of HR managers said they’d hire a candidate with strong soft skills even if they were missing abilities in some other areas.

Recognize We’re Not Born With Soft Skills

To some people, soft skills seem like just common sense and good manners. But if you think back, you may remember when you started forming the foundation for things like good communication or respect for authority. Soft skills are taught, and some new hires just entering the workforce need a crash course.

Take, for example, something as simple as answering the phone. Teens and college students seem to be constantly on their cell, but they get confused when they have to answer a landline and talk to strangers, something common in corporate America. Employers wonder why they say hello, look puzzled, then turn to someone else for help.

If that seems strange, think back to when you were young. Most likely someone coached you on answering the phone and taking a message. They explained the rules and supplied phrasing.

You were to say something like, “My mom isn’t available right now, may I take a message?” Or, if mom said she’d be there in a minute, you were expected to make polite small talk until she was ready to take the call. From an early age, you became comfortable answering the phone in an unknown situation.

But what if that wasn’t the case? What if you were born years after caller ID became the norm, and when everyone answers their own cell phone or lets it go to voicemail? The teenagers and college students just coming to work at your business may have rarely answered a landline, and they haven’t yet developed solid communication and problem-solving skills.

Understand Where They’re Coming From

You didn’t hire them to raise them, but you need reliable, dependable employees and they have skills. Look through their eyes for a minute to gain perspective and develop patience.

If it’s their first job, and before now, the adults in their life have been teachers and family members. They asked questions like, “What are your favorite subjects in school?” “What sports do you play?” “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” “What do you think you’ll study in college?” Until now, conversations with people other than their peers have been primarily about them.

Also, a huge percentage of the information they receive is electronic, so they haven’t had to develop listening skills the same way as previous generations. If you try to give verbal directions to reach a destination, they don’t have the patience for it.

They briefly skim emails and text messages knowing if they need to use the information, they can go back to it later. So when a customer at your business wants to voice a complaint or explain what they need, new hires might not have had enough practice really listening to be able to respond appropriately.

Teach Skills Explicitly

You offer training that takes new hires step by step through operating the cash register, restocking merchandise or closing the restaurant. You might even have checklists that break down your expectations. Take the same approach to teach soft skills.

Communication Basics

In addition to spelling out how to answer the phone, take a message and relay that to the appropriate party, teach new hires other basics of verbal communication. Give them examples of when to ask for help, how to ask for clarification and how to persist in communication until a problem is solved.

The Importance of Eye Contact

If your new hire doesn’t look people in the eye when talking to them, it comes across as either rude or shy, but he or she may not understand it’s a big deal. Explain and rehearse making eye contact when greeting customers, talking to co-workers and approaching administrators.

Flexibility and Teamwork

Give examples of how your new hire might be asked to adapt to changes in scheduling or duties and supply your expectations. Define what it means to be proactive and work toward the good of the team. For example, if the employee sees a spill on the floor and it’s not his or her job to take care of it, he or she is still expected to take action instead of leaving it for someone to slip on.

You also may need to train employees on conflict resolution. At work, they can’t just block or unfriend someone who disagrees with them. Explain what it means to have a reasonable discussion in a proper tone, whether it’s with a co-worker or someone higher up.

Problem Solving

If your new hire has been shielded from some things in life, they might not yet have developed the ability to handle hard things. Teach employees to troubleshoot instead of giving up.

At your business, you probably have certain types of situations that come up regularly. During training, give new hires a series of steps they can follow to use as a framework. Then offer them a new problem and ask them how they would solve it using the same principles.

Work Ethic

Employers complain about younger workers who miss deadlines, show up late and gripe about their duties, yet expect promotions and raises. Let new hires know at your business, the people who move forward aren’t the ones who just meet basic requirements. Your expectation is that they strive to do their best work, to go above and beyond.

They may not recognize the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from giving more than they thought they could. Instead of assuming younger workers are just lazy and sloppy, set clear expectations and provide the training they need for success.

Find Qualified New Hires

Brelsford Personnel has an extensive screening and selection process, so we supply knowledgeable, productive employees that already have the skills your business needs. Skip the hassle and headache that goes with finding the right candidates when you contact us to find out more.

How to Deliver Bad News Without Breaking Up Your Team

How to Deliver Bad News Without Breaking Up Your Team

Some conversations you’d give almost anything to avoid. It’s great to celebrate when you meet goals, pass milestones and break records, but some days things go the opposite direction, and you’re the one who has to talk about it with your team. Nothing can completely take away the sting, but if you must be the bearer of bad tidings, careful delivery can minimize the fallout.

Anticipate Questions

Put yourself in your employees’ or teammates’ shoes. When you tell them something went wrong or that things are about to change, their first thought is going to be, “how will this affect me?” Think what questions they might ask and be prepared to answer honestly, tactfully and with respect.

You might have the task of telling employees their raise request was rejected, their evaluation didn’t go well or a project fell through. If you made the decision, be prepared to take responsibility and explain the reasoning behind what you chose. If the bad news comes from someone higher up, try to learn their rationale so you can pass that on.

Talk in Person

If your bad news has an individual impact, talk to each person separately and in private. Don’t communicate electronically through email or text, have a face-to-face meeting if at all possible. When bad news or unwelcome change applies to the whole group, you still might want to have one-on-one conversations if the impact is different on each teammate or a group discussion could lead to conflict.

Be Clear and Direct

This is the hardest part. Don’t ease into the conversation, just deliver the bad news in simple words and plain language. Tell them what’s going on and why. Don’t downplay, sugarcoat or place blame. Don’t try to spin it as a positive, your team needs time to process bad news the way it is.

What happens after you tell them the bad news is as important as your delivery itself. Allow discussion, but don’t get involved in debate. Communicate clear timelines or deadlines for the change. You might have to repeat information as employees or team members mentally break it down. Show them courage and calm, even if that’s not what you’re feeling inside.

Listen

If your employees are going to feel anxiety and stress during the change or because of bad news, acknowledge that. If the bad news means less money or more inconvenience, don’t try to talk people out of being upset.

Realize their negative reaction is normal and give them time to process. You can’t change the news, but you can listen to how they feel about it.

The best leaders show they’re willing to face personal discomfort to do what’s best for their organization. When you deliver bad news with empathy and respect, your team knows they can trust you to be honest even when the truth hurts.