Category: HR Practices

  • 7 ways to handle friction with co-workers (avoidance is not one of them)

    While some friction in the workplace is to be expected, too much is harmful to everyone involved, particularly if left unresolved. Conflicts between employees disrupt their work and that of colleagues who share the work environment. Ongoing disagreements can affect job performance and even the company’s productivity and bottom line.

    While most U.S. workers report involvement in workplace strife at times, more than a third say they deal with it often or always. In a typical week, employees spend, on average, about three hours handling conflict at work. That’s just 7 percent of the work week, but in terms of productivity, the costs are staggering, resulting in an estimated $360 billion in paid hours.*

    So, what’s causing all this workplace friction? Employees say mainly personality conflicts and warring egos, as well as stress and workloads. These may lead to angry outbursts and insults; nasty, behind-the-back comments; poor communications; procrastination on projects; and more.

    Other than avoiding people who rub us the wrong way—which doesn’t solve and often intensifies the problem—what can we do to resolve conflict at work?

    Try taking these steps to manage conflict with co-workers

    1. Ask yourself why the person bothers you. Be aware of what is setting you off. If dealing with ... Read More
  • Best practices for interviewing: 5 do’s and 5 don’ts from our skilled job recruiters

    How you interview job candidates can make a big difference in the success of your most important hires. Knowing what and what not to do, as well as what and what not to ask, can also keep you out of hot water.

    Interviewing is time-consuming and requires organization; it can be frustrating and even stressful. It’s not surprising, then, that so many companies depend on job recruiters for their most significant hires. Whether you decide to go it alone or hire a professional recruiter, you will eventually be interviewing candidates. So, equip yourself now with good interviewing skills to assess your finalists.

    You are likelier to make the right hires if you interview smartly and effectively. And as you no doubt have learned, the wrong hires cost time and money, and the hiring process restarts at square one.

    Make our 5 do’s and 5 don’ts for interviewing part of your recruitment strategy

    Do’s:

    1. Look over candidates’ resumes before interviews. Well, of course, you say? You might be surprised at how many people don’t. Be organized and know what you plan to ask before interviews start.
    2. Be positive and make candidates feel at ease. This builds a better rapport with them and encourages them to respond openly and honestly.
    3. Ask candidates the same set of questions. This allows you to compare ... Read More
  • Building productive workplace teams with shared vision for success

    Our 21st century focus on teams isn’t new. Successful industry executives and entrepreneurs have long recognized the value of teams in fulfilling a company’s purpose and producing positive results.

    Industry titan Andrew Carnegie was a proponent of teamwork, defining it as “the ability to work together toward a common vision.” And his contemporary Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

    Those are inspiring and convincing words, but even the firmest believers in teamwork can find it difficult to put into action. While a workplace retreat can be effective, gains made in a single day are too often lost upon return to the office. So, how can managers build teams of employees who embrace shared goals to produce profitable outcomes?

    Want to create successful teams? Focus on these five qualities

    • Leadership – Establish yourself as the leader. Set goals for the team that can be linked to the company’s success. Delegate responsibilities that will foster individual professional growth and will help achieve the team’s goals. Be objective and fair in resolving conflicts among team members.
    • Trust –Trust in your employees’ abilities to perform their jobs well and allow them to make independent decisions as much as possible. The ... Read More
  • Managing low performers: Confront, communicate, coach. Then commend or can them

    One of the most challenging tasks facing managers is how best to handle low-performing employees. Questions abound: Can they make an acceptable turnaround? What help should we give them? How many strikes until they’re out? How long until we cut them loose?

    If they show a sign of promise, you might want to give them a chance to redeem themselves, particularly now when good employees are hard to find and recruit. Try coaching low performers and developing action plans for them. But know how and when to terminate them properly.

    “While it’s never easy confronting individuals about poor performance, tolerating it is a failure of leadership,” says John Baldoni, executive coach and leadership educator.

    Use a mixture of sensitivity and firmness when approaching low-performing employees. Don’t express anger toward them, and never disparage them in front of fellow employees. While no process is the only right way, here are eight effective steps to address subpar performance with employees from our HR consulting firm:

    1. Address the situation as soon as you recognize a problem. Don’t procrastinate or wait for a performance review while the problem continues.
    2. Find the cause and be objective. (Employees’ lack of skills, training, or motivation? Personal problems? Unclear expectations? Poor two-way communications?)
    3. Begin ... Read More