Clarity in Communication

Everyone is getting busier, which is great for business but perhaps more challenging in execution. This continues to be more complicated if you are working remotely or in a hybrid situation.

During the most intense periods of the pandemic, employees adapted and got the work done clumsily but effectively. What’s different now is the pace and higher levels of expectations. Business is returning to previous activity levels and leaders need to help their teams adjust to expectations.

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Is the Client Really Always Right?

The adage “the client is always right” does not carry the heft that it used to…but it still bears the same kind of angst when deciding how to handle delicate or difficult situations involving our employees.

I’ve had clients who are militantly defensive of their clients, even if it’s to the detriment of a solid performing employee. And there are others who passionately support their people to the irritation of a disgruntled client.

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Overcoming Blind Spots

Have you ever noticed when someone seems clueless about how he is perceived by others? This inevitably results in breakdowns in communication, especially from a person who isn’t aware of the problem.

Keep in mind that people want to communicate effectively. After all, they’re not sitting at their desks thinking about how they can be a bad listener in the morning meeting!

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State of Workplace Morale

People seem to be chomping at the bit to “return to normal”, even though things are still far from normal. Economic good news, wider spread access to vaccines, and more variety in activities than we’ve had in a year have all contributed to this yearning.

Zeroing in on some of the economic news: last week the Labor Department reported that job openings surged to a two-year high and the March jobs report indicated that 916,000 new jobs were added in March.

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Spring Inventory

One of the consequences of working remotely during the pandemic is that some of your management skills may have eroded. Although you may have picked up some new ones, some of your old standbys may have atrophied.

Spring is the time for renewal, so why not use this time to take inventory of your skills? Everyone is different, so here are some questions to start your thought process. Chances are that these ideas will generate others that are unique to you.

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2 Down, 10 to Go

Well, I hate to give you the news, but we are rounding the corner to complete the first two months of 2021. Is it my imagination, or has this arrived sooner than expected?

Time is obviously relative and depends on everything from your workload to family responsibilities to personal projects. The more you juggle, the more challenging it can be.

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Unpacking Remote Management

Many of us are a good ten months into managing a remote workforce. Although some have done well and even flourished, others are stumbling. This can be frustrating, especially if you felt successful when you were together with your team in the office.

Work will eventually return to an office environment, but it will not likely ever revert to the way it was a year ago. The managerial skills that make you brilliant in the office are different than the ones you need to succeed remotely. And whether you return to a conventional office environment or stay remote, the skills to successfully manage remotely will serve you well.

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Management By Walking Around….Virtually

Just because many companies are working remotely doesn’t mean that your staff isn’t experiencing strife. “He said” this and “she did” that and “I don’t know anything about this” are expressions that pop up, whether you’re remote or physically in the office.

When you hear these types of phrases occasionally, it’s normal and controllable. But if these expressions occur regularly, you need to investigate what’s going on.

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Managing Expectations

Everyone has their own standards of performance and achievement even if they don’t consciously think about them. The workplace supplements these standards by setting expectations for performance on the job.

Leaders need to be clear about their expectations, especially in our multigenerational workforce. What an older Baby Boomer experienced earlier in her career and expects as a given probably isn’t the norm today. If that same older Baby Boomer imposes 1970s expectations on a Gen Z employee, they may not be enthusiastically received.

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Virtual Onboarding

Last time we looked at issues related to virtual hiring and today’s topic is what to do after someone is hired. Virtual onboarding is obviously a little trickier than onboarding in person, so here are some tips. Some of these are obvious, but who hasn’t had a time when the obvious was forgotten?

+ Replace a job description with a statement of roles and accountabilities. Clearly identify what is expected and identify the accountabilities. Accountabilities are important because it demonstrates from the beginning that you expect the person to be responsible for outcomes. Review this on the first morning and check back during the next few weeks to make sure the person is clear on these responsibilities.

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