Employees: Be honest on those end-of-year surveys!

checklistWe are less than two months away from the New Year and that means an onslaught of new goals, year-end reports, holiday parties, wrapping up projects, and more.

But none of those are more dreaded by employees than the infamous end-of-year survey. End-of-year surveys are typically comprehensive company performance reviews that ask employees to rate their managers, bosses, co-workers, personal satisfaction, company policies, goals, company culture, and even the little things like bathroom and office cleanliness.

They are fairly long and for most employees considered a big waste of time because, “who in their right mind would listen to an underling like me?” Right?

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What to do when an employee quits

quitting noteLosing a good employee can almost feel like breaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend.

No doubt you’ve heard someone say, “Don’t worry there are plenty of others,” or, “It’s not you it’s me,” or asked yourself, “what did I do wrong?”

Yes, losing an employee can be difficult, especially with so much time invested into their well-being. And yes, it can be frustrating. But, as a leader and an adult, you have to take it for what it is, accept the terms, and move on.

What should you do when an employee quits? Take a look below:

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How to Build a Better Relationship With Your Manager

extremely clean office

In many ways, building and maintaining relationships in the work environment is almost as important as your actual job duties.

Coworkers are obviously an important part of this process. Having a team to bounce ideas off of and pick up each other’s slack helps great companies succeed.

Managers, however, also play an important role in your feelings about your work environment.

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Leaders: Why You Need to be Tech-Savvy (Part I)

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Here at AIM, we are all about all things tech. In the business world today, technology is making a huge impact that extends far beyond those in the IT crowd.

With the greater accessibility we now have to technology, companies are now orienting themselves towards becoming more tech-savvy, and are pushing their employees in that direction too.

No one is more accountable for being tech-savvy than the leaders amongst the company, which is why over the next few posts, we are going to talk about just that. For today, we are going to outline a few reasons why leaders need to be tech-savvy. Take a look below:

It helps you become more social-savvy. Let’s face it: we are now well into the digital age. The technology we have gives us the accessibility to communicate much more easily than before. As leader, being tech-savvy can help orient towards becoming more social-savvy.

According to a recent study by Weber Shandwick, 80% of employees surveyed said they would “rather work for a social CEO”, while two thirds of customers said that “their perception of the CEO impacts their perception of the company.” Suffice to say, those are some pretty big numbers to consider when making the leap towards becoming a tech- and social-savvy leader.

It makes you look innovative. People usually want to work for a company that looks towards the future, and a leader who is keen on technology will most likely value innovation, as well. Having that kind of value is big for many employees and those looking to work for your company. Being tech-savvy can be a huge selling point for candidates who place high value on innovation and opportunity.

It also helps attract Millennials. There is no doubt that Millennials are the “techiest” of all generations. As such, the value they place on technology in the workplace is much higher than most. As leader, you are perhaps the one of the biggest representatives of your company.

The majority of people who are thinking about applying to your company will most likely look to you to judge how the values of your company stack up to their own. For Millennials, that involves how you work way around technology, and if you don’t deliver, then chances are that will reflect poorly on them, possibly leading them to look somewhere else.

Check back on Thursday when give you a few tips on how to become a tech-savvy leader. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Employees: How to Deal with a Difficult Boss (Part II)

man crossing the street

 

On Tuesday, we started talking about bosses who can be difficult.

As we mentioned, dealing with a difficult boss can be a great challenge. While we’d like to tell them how we feel, we don’t want to overstep our boundaries and get into the face of our higher ups.

But fear not: there are plenty of ways to handle these situations. So, whether it is a boss who lacks direction, gets too emotional, or is just plain intimidating, here are some of our tips on how to deal with them. Take a look below:

  • Keep your cool. First things first, if and when you decide to address a problem with a boss, you need make sure that you keep your cool. Nothing is worse than losing your temper when you are trying to prove that you’ve been treated wrong, so always try to keep yourself in check.
  • Pick your battles. Though it would be nice, not every problem needs to be addressed, especially when it comes to dealing with our bosses. As a general rule, we would suggest taking a moment and considering whether addressing the situation is worth it–especially with emotional or condescending bosses.
  • Consider their point-of-view. Leaders usually have a lot on their plate, and in some cases these things can really stress them out. As such, it is always a good idea to try and take a walk in their shoes when you are addressing their shortcomings. Doing so can help ensure that you get your point across while still being understanding about why they may be stressed and taking things out on you, or not performing their job (as you see it).
  • Keep it private. Leaders also have an image to uphold, so when you approach them it is best to do it in private. Not only is it much more professional to do so, but it will also increase the likelihood that your boss will take your case more seriously.
  • Speak to their higher-up. Though not our first choice, when all else fails, you might want to consider speaking to your boss’ higher up. Sometimes, getting a neutral party can help to ensure that both parties are treated fairly and that things will move along faster and more smoothly.

Have any tips that you’d like to add to our list? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Employees: How to Deal with a Difficult Boss (Part I)

two people talking stern faced

At some point in just about everyone’s career, we have to deal with a difficult person. And in the past, we’ve given you some tips on dealing with difficult clients as well as difficult co-workers.

But what about when it comes to dealing with a difficult boss?

That can end up being a whole different story. Unlike a client or peer, working with a difficult boss takes walking a fine line between letting problems slide, and leveling with them about their shortcomings–a situation no one wants to be in.

To help you avoid these kinds of situations, we are going to talk about different ways to help you deal with difficult bosses. For today, we’ll talk about a few kinds of bosses who often present us with trouble. Take a look below:

  • The emotional boss. These bosses usually finds themselves on a roller-coaster ride, and unfortunately, they end up making you join along. This could be a boss who gets extremely sad then angry and likes to have a few screaming matches, or one who is joking one minute and becomes stern the next. As a result, you might not know exactly where you stand with them. The worst part is that unlike clients or co-workers, you can’t really ignore your boss, since they are overseeing your work.
  • The condescending boss. These bosses are notoriously hard to please and they’ll most likely spend more time critiquing your work than giving you positive feedback. In turn, you’ll probably find yourself running in a few unnecessary circles, which can really damage productivity and efficiency. 
  • The stubborn boss. These bosses usually abide by the “my way or the highway” mantra. In turn, it can be really hard for you to give any input, which can really put a damper on innovation.
  • The very hands-off boss. The hands-off boss can be kind of strange. While it is great that they give you the freedom to work as you please, the unfortunate downfall is that when you need direction, they aren’t there to give it to you. In turn, the risk of screwing up on big projects is greater, when it could’ve been easily avoided with a little guidance.

Have you ever run across a boss like this? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter, and check back with us on Tuesday when we give you tips on how to handle the many different bosses we mentioned above.

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Leaders: Letting Your Employees Make Mistakes (Part I)

miles davis mistakes

Last week, we talked a little bit about why leaders shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes. As we mentioned, mistakes are often misperceived as being associated only with failure.

But the truth is, you can actually do a lot of growth with a mistake, which is why today, we are going to talk about why you should be okay with letting your employees make mistakes, and how you can make the most of out them.

For today, we are going to give you three reasons why you should be okay with your employees making mistakes:

  • Everyone makes mistakes. First things first, remember: everyone makes mistakes. Unless you are superhuman, you are bound to run into a few mistakes every once in a while. The question is all about how you handle the situation.

    We are not saying you should go ahead and give your employees the okay to do whatever they please, but as a leader, you need to take these mistakes in stride. That begins by understanding that everyone (including yourself) will mess up every now and then.

  • Mistakes can equal progress. Believe it or not, mistakes can actually be a stepping-stone for success. As we mentioned in our post last week, you can never really know what it means to do something the right and best way until you know what it means to do it the worst way.

    Letting your employees make those kinds of mistakes can actually help them since it gives them first-hand experience at failure. In turn, they will know exactly what they shouldn’t be doing, which may actually help push them in the right direction and make them succeed.

  • Allowing risk can help spur creativity. Another thing to consider is the potential that comes with being open to your employees making mistakes. When you let them know it is okay to make mistakes every once in a while, the chance that they will take risks for the sake of creativity is greater. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you always scold them over the chance that they might fail due to creative spark, you end up pushing them to play by the rules, and that may do some damage to your creativity.

    In the long run, we suggest that you always take a look at how your employees’ risk taking will pan out in the larger scheme of things. If the risk is low and you see a substantial amount of benefit from it, then why not let them take the risk? All in all, we suggest that you keep things in balance and make sure to have open communication in order to prevent any serious damage.

Check back on Thursday when we give you a few tips on how to make the most out of your employees making mistakes. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

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Leaders: Don’t be Afraid of Making a Few Mistakes

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Don’t be afraid of making mistakes but do understand and learn from them. Mistakes are truly necessary for growth.

That’s the advice given by Kiran K. Gill, President and CEO of PARS Environmental, Inc. when she was interviewed by Entrepreneur on the art of managing people right.

And we couldn’t agree more. Sure, making mistakes may sound counter-intuitive to a leadership position. But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s why:

  • Mistakes push boundaries. People who aren’t afraid of making mistakes are the ones who are usually pushing the boundaries. Whether that means creatively or otherwise, having the guts to take risks can actually lead to improvements in your field. And sure, things may not always work out for the best, but when they do, it can be huge. Just make sure you know when you are doing something daring enough to ruin your company; the key to taking risks is understanding the consequences that come with them.
  • Mistakes help you compare the best to the worst. You’ll never know what’s best until you know what’s the worst. Having an idea of what not to do usually comes from doing it in the first place. Making mistakes can actually be a good thing as long as you take the initiative to fix them in the long run.

How to make the most out of your mistakes:

  • Admit to your mistakes. First things first, when you make mistakes you need to admit to them. Mistakes rarely fix themselves, and the first step to fixing them is admitting to them. Do that and you will be well on your way towards improving your outcomes.
  • Try, try, try again. “If at first you don’t succeed…” No one says you have to get things right the first time. Take the mistakes you make as learning opportunities and use the experience to your advantage the next time around. Understanding that you can always learn and improve from your mistakes is one of the best ways to get over your problems in the future.

Don’t take your mistakes for granted. There are plenty of leaders who have made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and are now doing better because of them. Remember that the next time you make a mistake and you’ll be well on your way to success.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Regularly Evaluate Your Employees

clipboard blank paper

Evaluating and assessing your employees is a common task for most leaders. However, sometimes, we fall prey to not making it a frequent part of our routine.

With Millennials now entering the workforce, it has become more important than ever to evaluate your employees–evaluations and substantive feedback rate as a top concern/value among the Millennial generation when it comes to their professional career.

Because evaluation is such an important part of leadership, we thought we would dedicate a few posts to evaluations as a manager or leader. For today, we gathered three reasons why you should start regularly evaluating your employees. Take a look below:

  • It maintains and increases the quality of work. Checking up on your employees can do a lot to maintain and increase the quality of their work. More often than not, those who strive to do well are always looking for ways to improve their work. Having regular evaluations is a great way to help guide them through that process so they can hone their skills and expertise in the field.
  • It maintains and increases employee satisfaction. Likewise, assessments are great for gauging employee satisfaction. We usually think of evaluations and assessments as a time for critiquing our employees’ work, and in turn, we often ignore the most important part of evaluations: rating employee satisfaction. Believe it or not, employee satisfaction plays a huge role in the quality of their work, so take a moment to assess how they feel about their job and give them time to air their grievances in order to ensure they’re happy enough to do their work.
  • It helps to reduce mistakes. Last but not least, use regular evaluations as a way to tease out any little errors that may arise in their work. Whether it has to do with something you see, or something an employee is unsure about, checking up on them regularly can help to reduce mistakes as well as prevent any big disasters from happening. Neglecting to check in and evaluate employees often perpetuates a lack of awareness about the workplace environment, allowing more mistakes.

Evaluating your employees regularly can do wonders for your team, so try your best do it as often as possible. To find out how, check back tomorrow when we’ll give some great tips on how to regularly evaluate your employees. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Leaders: 3 Tips on How to Mentor Your Team

teaching and mentoring

 

Yesterday, we gave you three reasons why it’s important to be a mentor to your team.

As we mentioned, great leaders do more than just order around their employees; they take the time and effort to pass on the essential skills and strategies that will help elevate their employees’ professional careers through mentorship.

Not only that, but mentoring can also help you improve as a leader as it pushes you to approach leadership in a whole new way. To help you start mentoring, here are three tips on how to go about it. Take a look below:

  • Be confident. Almost everyone can teach someone something new, so don’t be afraid to impart some new wisdom to the members of your team. Taking the time to help your employees learn something new, whether it has to do with technical skills or soft skills, is an important part of being a great leader, and showing that you have the confidence to do so will make your point go further.
  • Be patient. That being said, when it comes to mentoring others you need make sure you aren’t getting frustrated so quickly. Just because you learned quickly and are now an expert in what you are teaching doesn’t always mean others will be the same. Everyone has different learning styles and it is up to a great leader should be able to adapt to those styles.
  • Be humble. Above all, you need to be humble. While most employees are eager to learn, no one wants to feel like they are beneath you in intelligence. Be sure to show them how what you are teaching them will actually benefit their career. If an employee seems too stubborn to learn, then there is no need to push, since they most likely won’t get anything out of the experience.

Great leaders understand the importance of cultivating the skills of their employees because doing so will both help those with the time spent under their current leadership, and also increase the likelihood of future success. Don’t worry about going above and beyond and doing more teaching and commanding–they’ll thank you for it in the end. 

What do you think about mentorship? Have any tips to add to our last? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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