Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Archive for May, 2013

How to Handle employees who are Negative in the Workplace

Some people radiate negativity. They don’t like their jobs or they don’t like their company. Their bosses are always jerks and they are constantly treated unjustly. The company is always going down the tube and customers are worthless. You know these negative Neds and Nellies – every organization has some – and you can best address their impact on you via avoidance.

So once I’ve identified who are negative coworkers- what should I do…

Tips for dealing with Consistently Negative coworkers

  • Avoid spending time with a negative coworker.
  • If you are forced, through your role in the company, to work with a negative person, set limits. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into negative discussions. Tell the negative coworker, you prefer to think about your job positively. Avoid providing a sympathetic audience for the negativity.
  • Suggest the negative person seek assistance from human resources or their supervisor.
  • If all else fails, talk to your own supervisor -your supervisor may have ideas, may be willing to address the negativity, and may address the issue with the negative person’s supervisor.

On the other hand, sometimes normally positive people are negative. Some of the time, too, their reasons for negativity are legitimate. You will take a completely different tack with these occasionally negative people. We’ll deal with both of these varieties of negativity from people.

How should I handle a person who legitimately has a reason to be negative….

  • Listen to the employee or      coworker’s complaints until      you are certain that they feel heard out and listened to. Sometimes people      repeat negative sentiments over and over because they don’t feel like you      have really listened to them. Ask questions. Clarify their statements.      Make sure you have actively listened.
  • Ask if they’d like your help to solve the problem. If they ask for help, provide advice or ideas for how the coworker can address the reason for their negativity- but know your limits when advising coworkers.

So remember if you decide to listen to coworkers’ negativity you should decide if the concerns are indeed legitimate and practice the courage of telling them that you care about their concerns of happiness – while empathizing on the job but also while remembering to correctly direct them to who can help them if you disagree with their predicament.

Why empathy in leadership matters

Most times, we tend to confuse empathy with sympathy; that to be empathetic means agreeing or relating to the feelings another person has regarding a given situation or individual.

SO what does empathy really mean?

In order to appreciate the role empathy plays in leadership, we first need to have a clear understanding of what empathy means. You can sense the emotions of those around you.  You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own.  Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective.-“Now, Discover Your Strengths”

Why does it matter for us to understand the needs of others?

By understanding others we can develop closer relationships with employees- understanding and providing employees with what they need to succeed, leaders can build a sense of trust, thereby strengthening the relationships they have with their employees and consequently, the relationships employees have with one another, leading to greater collaboration and improved productivity.  This so pertinent in any industry.

What traits/behaviors distinguish someone as empathetic?

Empathy requires:

  • ·         Listening
  • ·         Openess
  • ·         Non-judgementalism
  • ·         Emotional Intelligence

What do I get from empathizing with my employees

  • You gain a greater awareness      of the needs of your employees.
  • Empathy      allows you to create an environment of open communication and more      effective feedback.
  • It      allows us to understand and explore problems employees face and how to      help them resolve them.

If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Staying Calm, Cool and Collected…Meshell

Meshell BrananWhile Meshell was attending high school, the local schools decided to consolidate. This consolidation was going to send Meshell’s friends to different schools. Also, it would break up Meshell’s Scooby gang. Not wanting this to happen, the friends all decided to sign up for food service classes at the local vo-tech school. This strategy not only kept the friends together, Meshell enjoyed it so much she decided to make food service her career.

After graduating from IUP with a culinary degree, Meshell worked as a chef; but she soon decided she really wanted to interact with people more. Kitchens were fun but they didn’t create enough interaction with other folks. She soon decided to go back to IUP and graduated with a B. S. in Hospitality Management.

Always thinking ahead, Meshell interviewed and got a job with Eat’n Park restaurants before she even graduated. She breezed through her finals knowing she already had a job. She completed her management training in our restaurant in New Kensington. It didn’t take her long to be promoted to manager and then finally to General Manager.

Meshell said that everything looks so big when you are just starting out. She remembered the first time she was on shift when the power went out. She didn’t know what to do and thought that the restaurant would shut down. She was on the verge of freaking out when her DM called and calmed her down. They told her that she was fine and that these things happen. Now Meshell stays calm, cool and collected during storms, fires, tornadoes, no power or water. Stuff happens… you just need to keep calm and carry on.

Meshell’s advice to everyone is that you get out of everything what you put in it; you just can’t just get by. You need to put real effort into it, be motived and go after what you want. And don’t forget to stay calm, cool and collected.

How to have fun at work!

With summer fast approaching, the businesses of the restaurants will pick up, which can mean higher stress levels but can also mean more fun!

According to a William M. Mercer survey, only 29 percent of employers nationwide encourage humor as part of their company culture, and only eight percent have a policy of using fun to reduce employee stress. Yet, research at California State University Long Beach showed that people who have fun at work are more creative, more productive, work better with others and call in sick less often.

If people are having fun they are going to work harder, stay longer, maintain their composure in a crisis better, and take better care of your organization.

 Some quick tips

  •  Make the Most of Your Commute. How do you spend your commute? Make it positive time. Use it for reading, writing, creative thinking, creative projects, listen to audio books, or, heck, write your own book! If you enjoy your commute, that happiness will spill over into how you feel at work.
  •  Choose to enjoy your time at work. Find others who are enjoy having fun and spread good cheer it’s contagious and it grows. Try to avoid gossip and negative chat. It can be tempting, but it doesn’t serve anyone well, including yourself.
  •  Conflicts with Others. Let your goal be “to make progress.” Don’t get caught up in trying to “be right” or to “win” the argument. That will just slow you down. In your mind ask yourself, “What will move this conflict forward right now?” And then get busy doing that.
  • Motivate your Team. Learn about what motivates your employees. Use contests, games, food, prizes and other incentives to get the team excited about running a strong shift. Motivation keeps people upbeat and productive.
  • Take  Your Vacation Time.  Try doing something different. If you always go on a trip, try taking a   more local vacation, and really get some good rest time. Or if you always  stay local, try visiting a new place. Variety is one of the keys to happiness.

Have Fun this summer Team!