HR Tips

What Your Millennial Managers Need to Know to Be Successful

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According to a recent survey, 83% of respondents claimed to have seen Millennials inside their workplaces managing other generations. And while 44% of Millennial respondents of this survey viewed themselves as being the most capable generation to lead in the workplace, only 14% of all survey respondents agreed with this sentiment.

Why?

Mainly because Millennials still need more adequate leadership development opportunities, training, and experience. So, if you’re going to invest more in your current and future Millennial managers, as research continues to suggest you should, here’s what they need to know how to do.

Cope with Stress and Anxiety

According to research conducted by the American Psychological Association, Millennials are the most stressed-out generation right now and are also less able to manage their stress when compared to other generations.

Additional research shows that 30% of working Millennials have anxiety that often affects their work performance. Sources of anxiety for Millennials include but are not necessarily limited to a tough job market, student debt, being passed over for promotions, having no clear career trajectories, ambition, addiction, career crises, choice overload, and more.

If you want your Millennial managers to be more successful, consider offering them:

  • Financial health incentives and training

  • Mental health benefits and training

  • Servant leadership training

  • Career maps and clearly laid-out career trajectories

  • Emotional intelligence training

  • Comprehensive leadership training for long-term development

  • Mentors or coaches who are successful leaders

Select and Assemble the Appropriate Teams and Team Dynamics

Millennials tend to value collaborative environments and work projects more than any other generation in the current workforce. And studies show that they prefer to work in groups. Some experts have stated that Millennials tend to form teams with individuals they like working with rather than those employees who have the ideal skill sets and experience they need on those teams. Yet many generations, including the new Generation Z, don’t prefer working in groups as much and value autonomy and individual recognition for work completed inside the workplace.

So, as Millennials manage their workforces and teams, they’ll have to be coached in how to select more dynamic and diverse teams that work a little more independently.

Engage in Strong and Constructive Communications

According to a Deloitte survey, Millennials feel they need to learn stronger interpersonal skills to be more successful in the current workforce. But research also indicates that they tend to be less confrontational than other generations, that they don’t feel very confident, and that they aren’t always very communicative.

So, your Millennial managers will need to be trained in a variety of soft skills and communication-based skills and will need to have guidance in how to offer constructive feedback to their employees, as well as how to resolve conflicts that arise, etc. If you want your Millennial managers to be more successful, focus your leadership initiatives and programs for them on the things that they need to know, as outlined above.

Top 4 Characteristics of 21st Century Leadership

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Faster communication, shifts in demographics, globalization and numerous other changes in today’s business world means that leadership styles must also be altered to keep up with the current environment.

Although certain characteristics of leadership such as vision, intelligence, good judgment, ambition and integrity are still valuable, the “hierarchical, inward-focused” method of leadership will not fit well with the 21st century business needs.

Below are the four key characteristics that distinguish the leaders who are successful in today’s ever-changing business environment:

1. Capacity to Navigate – This skill of scanning the fast-changing business landscape allows leaders to see signals and patterns that might impact the company’s growth.

2. Capacity to Empathize – This allows leaders to reach and connect with people who are different from them.

3. Capacity to Self-Correct – Companies need leaders who are able to evaluate their own long-standing ideas and assumptions about leadership and adjust them if necessary for the benefit and success of the organization.

4. Capacity to Set Up Win-Win Propositions for Stakeholders – With the current rapid flow of information, leaders must embrace transparency and competition. Effective leaders strive to create appealing propositions for all of the various stakeholders.

These four key characteristics are a guide for successful leadership in today’s fast changing business world.

 

     – HR Daily Advisor

5 Ways to Improve Performance for Small Teams

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There’s no substitute for great performance. In all industries, from manufacturing to professional services, that businesses that lead ahead of the pack tend to be the ones that emphasize and aim for great performance.

There are several aspects of achieving great performance. Great performance can be achieved on an individual level by one person, by a team of talented people, or by an entire business made up of many small and large teams.

Today, we’ll focus on the second type of performance: team performance. Read on to discover five ways that you can improve the performance of your small team using a selection of human resources management tactics.

1. Make integrating into the team part of your performance appraisals. 

Many people thrive independently but struggle to work as part of a team. This can result in great performance on individual projects but slow, inconsistent results in an environment where communication and teamwork is important.

Instead of focusing solely on individual productivity, make integrating into the team a major priority of your management. It’s not just skills that matter, but also being a good team player and someone that others can depend on.

2. Don’t just focus on team members – focus on the team’s leadership. 

Even a team of top-performers will struggle to achieve its goals without an excellent leader. Does your team have a leader that sets the right goals and keeps members of the team motivated?

Effective leadership means understanding each team member’s role and priorities, then ensuring all team members can work effectively together. It’s important to be just as attentive about leadership as the individual performance of each person.

3. Set goals that can be achieved on an individual and team level. 

Does your team have goals that can be achieved both individually and collectively as a team? The best goals are ones that can be achieved as a team, as well as being able to be broken down into small goals that can be achieved by individuals.

Create major goals, then break them down into sub-goals for individuals or smaller groups to focus on. This gives your team a major goal to work towards, but one that isn’t so large it seems impossible to achieve.

4. Make sure communication between team members is a priority. 

Communication is the key to effective teamwork. When people with different skills can communicate with each other clearly and openly, problems that can otherwise hold progress back are quickly avoided or overcome.

Is your team designed for open, simple communication? Create an environment in which communication is encouraged and you’ll make your entire team much more focused, effective and productive.

5. Keep morale as high as possible by celebrating every achievement. 

It’s important to stay focused on achieving your team’s goals. It’s also important to occasionally step back and view the progress you’ve made in order to keep morale high and team members energized.

When your team achieves a major goal, take a moment to celebrate. Achieving large goals not only helps your team move towards its objective – it also strengthens the ability of each team member to work effectively with their peers.

How to Accurately Appraise Employee Performance in Your Business

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Are you preparing to carry out an employee performance appraisal? Ensuring that all of your company’s employees are performing effectively is one of the most vital aspects of managing a business.

It’s also something that many businesses – particularly small companies without a dedicated HR team – can struggle with. How can you accurately, consistently and fairly appraise and track the performance of your team?

Below, we’ve listed four tips and techniques that you can use to carry out accurate, useful performance appraisals of your business’s employees to ensure your office remains productive, focused and dedicated towards achieving your goals.

Create a standard performance appraisal criteria. 

Many small businesses make the mistake of assessing employees using unique and different criteria. The end result is a performance appraisal that doesn’t provide an actionable, constructive form of advice for employees or managers.

Does your business have a standard performance appraisal criteria? Performance appraisals need to be standardized for all employees, meaning that all people are assessed and appraised using the same criteria.

Standardization prevents employees from feeling that they haven’t been treated fairly in their appraisal. It also makes it easier for your HR team to track employee performance over the long term and view improvement as it occurs.

Understand the goals of a performance appraisal. 

What is the goal of your performance appraisal? Performance appraisals need to do two things: they need to provide a record of performance for managers, and also to provide actionable, helpful information to employees.

Can an employee receive their appraisal and understand which areas they excel in, which require improvement and which key skills make them an important part of the business?

If your performance appraisal system is used to support promotions and salaries, for example, does it accurately assess the criteria required to work out what each employee deserves and is entitled to?

Focus on useful feedback, not surprises.

Many employees fear performance appraisals, with worries of surprising problems and complaints that they may not be aware of. Good performance appraisals should be free of surprises, with employees largely aware of issues before being appraised.

In the most effective workplaces, managers make employees aware of performance issues as soon as possible. This creates immediate change, rather than delaying any progress until the point at which performance appraisals are carried out.

Do your team members understand their performance issues and areas in which an improvement may be required? It’s important to address performance issues if and when they occur and not to leave any long-term issues until appraisal time.

Carry out appraisals frequently and consistently. 

The key to gradual improvement is great tracking. By keeping detailed, consistent records of each of your employees’ performance, you can track improvement over the long term and watch as your business becomes more effective.

Create consistency by carrying out performance appraisals on a regular basis. It’s best to assess performance every six months, although some businesses might be best suited to annual performance reviews and appraisals.

The more consistent your business can be in tracking and appraising its employee performance, the easier you’ll find it to measure long-term performance trends and stay aware of progress.

How to Manage a Small, Focused Team (Without Managing Too Much)

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With excellent management, great teams can become far more than the sum of their parts. Unfortunately, many businesses hire all the right people but fail to apply great management techniques to allow them to work effectively.

It’s hard to achieve anything alone, particularly in a competitive industry. Working as an efficient, cooperative team is one of the best ways to increase your business’s efficiency and get more done in each workday.

Does your business depend on small, focused teams? Read on to learn how you can manage your small team more effectively to get more work done, achieve a higher quality end result and become a more efficient business.

Start early by hiring the right people. 

The best teams are always made up of the best people. While great management can improve the efficiency of any team, you’ll get the best results by combining a highly competent team of people with excellent management.

Does your business hire the best people in its field? If you’re interested in improving your results and getting more done, start by hiring talented employees that can help any team meet its targets.

Remember that effective team building starts with choosing the right people to be a part of your team. Hire top performers and, with effective management, you’ll create a team that can achieve any goal.

Make yourself part of the team. 

Many teams have management that seems effective but ultimately fails to get much done. This is often because management feels external from the team itself, instead of feeling like part of the team that’s actively involved in each project.

As a manager, it’s essential that you know your team members and understand the situations and issues that affect them regularly. By becoming a part of the team, it’s far easier to stay on top of the situations it faces every day.

Are you part of your team, or are you an external manager? By making yourself part of the team you manage, you can manage directly and respond faster to issues that would otherwise hold the team back and reduce productivity.

Build morale by achieving goals. 

Team building exercises are great for building morale and making each member of your team feel more comfortable around their colleagues. However, they’re quite a time consuming exercises that can often distract from other goals and objectives.

One of the best ways to improve your team’s morale is to focus on achieving goals, gradually expanding the scope of each goal as the last one is achieved. This makes your team members feel more confident as their track record of success grows.

Can you split your large goals into several smaller goals? Breaking down objectives is a great way to help your team make gradual progress that improves morale and inspires confidence and success, increasing your team’s ability to work efficiently.

Small team? Try working remotely. 

Have you considered managing your team remotely? Remote teams – teams made up of people that work remotely or from home – can often be far more productive than centralized teams that work together in an office environment.

Many of the world’s leading businesses have made use of remote teams to achieve objectives at a low cost. Reduced overhead and the ability to collaborate between locations are just two of the significant benefits of managing a remote team.

Can your business become more efficient by working remotely? If your team has the potential to work from different locations to achieve its goals, consider using a work arrangement to improve morale and strengthen your team’s bond.

5 Important Skills for Successful Human Resources Managers

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Your business’s human resources team is one of its most important pillars – a team that’s responsible for ensuring the right people are hired, managed and tasked with helping your business grow and develop.

Because HR serves such an important role, it’s essential that your HR team – from entry-level employees to managers – has the skills required to hire and help your employees succeed in their jobs.

Are you searching for new HR staff? From communication skills to great ethics, read on to learn five important skills that you should look for in an HR manager.

1. The ability to communicate.

Communications are at the core of successful HR management. Without being able to effectively communicate to employees, it’s unlikely that your HR team can meet its goals as part of your business.

Your HR manager (or managers) needs to be able to easily communicate with your business’s employees, its management team and everyone else that’s involved with your business’s operations.

These communications skills can’t just be verbal or written – a great HR manager needs to be able to communicate across any platform and medium to ensure their message is received and perfectly understood. 

2. Excellent judgment.

One part of human resources is ensuring that the right people are placed in the right positions to help the business grow. Another part of HR is applying judgment to the disputes, issues and difficult situations that can arise in any business.

From dealing with potential discrimination issues to responding to employees that feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in the office, HR managers need to have excellent judgment in order to work out how to respond to difficult issues and problems.

Arguably the most important aspect of judgment is knowing when to take action on an issue and when to seek someone else’s help. This requires a combination of great judgment and strong communication skills, as listed above.

3. Sensible, honest ethics.

Ethics are essential for effective HR management, and any good HR manager needs to have a strong sense of ethics. From dealing with private, personal information to ensuring the company’s needs are met, HR requires professionals to act ethically.

This extends both in the direction of management and of employees. HR managers need to ensure that the company follows regulations and laws effectively and that its employees are treated fairly by the business’s management.

Because of this, strong ethics are essential for success in HR. If you were placed in a situation without an easy answer – a situation in which people may have conflicting goals – would you be able to make an ethical, honest and fair decision?

4. Great negotiation skills.

HR professionals often have to act between employees and management, ensuring that disputes and negotiations are handled fairly and that both parties are as close to satisfied as possible by the outcome.

From compensation to work responsibilities, being an effective HR manager means being able to effectively negotiate and ensure situations provide a mutual benefit to members of the business or organization.

Like judgment, the ability to negotiate requires strong communication skills. Could you effectively negotiate a good outcome between two or more parties and ensure both are satisfied with its outcome?

5. Strong multitasking abilities.

The average HR manager deals with a wide range of situations and issues on a daily basis, making strong multitasking abilities an essential skill for success in the role in the long term.

Can you multitask? From juggling several situations and objectives in your mind to scheduling appointments with a wide range of people throughout the day, most HR professionals have a busy workload that requires good multitasking skills.

It could be recruiting one minute, then retention the next. With such a wide range of tasks to complete – tasks that often require very different skillsets – working on one task at a time just isn’t possible for most HR managers.

3 Ways to Provide Actionable, Helpful Feedback That Improves Performance

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Giving helpful, constructive feedback can be surprisingly difficult. While it’s easy for most people to work out how a behavior or process doesn’t work, turning this into a piece of advice that’s actionable and helpful is rarely an easy process.

Despite this, giving feedback is one of the most important aspects of building a great team. Without feedback, it’s impossible to know where and how to improve and put the changes into place that required to develop and get better.

Luckily, it’s possible to provide actionable, helpful feedback to colleagues and team members using a few simple techniques. Apply the three tactics below to give your colleagues and employees helpful feedback that they can use to improve.

1. Make sure your feedback is relevant, timely and specific. 

The best feedback ticks three boxes: it’s highly relevant to the task or situation that’s at hand, it’s delivered at the right moment to help the recipient, and it’s very specific and directly applicable.

Does your feedback meet all three criteria? Many people give great advice that’s not relevant to the situation, or they deliver the right advice at the wrong moment. Lots of great advice is given that’s also too general to put into practice.

Giving relevant, timely and specific advice makes your feedback more valuable than any other messages your team members or employees receive. It gives an employee the chance to directly implement your advice and improve a specific situation.

Before you give advice, make sure that it ticks all of the three boxes above: it’s highly specific, timely and relevant. When all three conditions are met, your feedback is far more likely to have a positive effect on your employees or team members.

2. Be positive, and ensure your feedback has a constructive tone. 

It’s easy to sound overly negative when you give feedback. Because of tone, it’s quite common for people to interpret positive, constructive feedback as an insult or mean, negative statement about their job performance.

Because of this, it’s important to make sure that your feedback is always built to be positive and constructive. Great feedback should give people valuable help, and not feel like it detracts from their abilities or belittles them.

Before you give feedback, think about how you would react if you were the recipient instead of the giver. Would you view it as a helpful piece of actionable advice or as a personal insult or complaint?

Phrasing, tone and word choice can have a huge impact on the way your feedback is received, even if it doesn’t change its content much. Before you give any advice, use the above test to make sure the recipient isn’t likely to misinterpret your feedback.

3. Be consistent, or else your feedback is largely meaningless. 

One of the most common complaints of disgruntled or frustrated employees is that their bosses simply don’t listen to them. When you give inconsistent feedback, it’s extremely difficult for your employees or team members to know what to do.

As written above, great feedback is relevant, timely and specific. It’s also consistent, with great feedback maintaining the same message no matter how or when it ends up being delivered.

If you deliver inconsistent feedback to an employee, it becomes difficult for them to know how to improve. This is particularly true if several people each provide their own contradictory feedback on how a person, task or project could be made better.

When you’re part of a team, ensure you all have the same goals and can deliver the same key messages in your feedback. As an individual, make sure you stick to one message and remain consistent when you offer feedback to your team members.

4 Simple But Effective Ways to Improve Employee Morale

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Morale is one of the most important factors in creating a highly motivated, efficient and productive workplace. No matter how great your process might be, it’s unlikely that your team will make progress if morale and confidence is low. There is a massive amount of content about raising morale available both online and off, some of it extremely useful. However, many morale raising tips aren’t helpful for most businesses or are prohibitively expensive to implement.

Luckily, raising morale doesn’t need to be an expensive process, not does it need to be something for which your business implements huge changes. The four tactics in this guide will help you raise morale and create a more productive workplace.

1. Reward employees for excellent performance. 

It should go without saying, but most people will perform at their best when there is an incentive for them to do so. From commission systems to bonuses, offering some kind of reward for performance is a great way to raise morale and motivate people.

Rewards work for several reasons. First, they provide an obvious financial incentive for good performance. But they’re also psychologically beneficial, as a reward shows employees that you pay attention to their work and reward it when it’s excellent.

Many employers believe that commissions and bonuses need to be large in order to have any positive impact. The reality is that even a small incentive to perform well is hugely beneficial, as it provides team members with personal acknowledgement.

Does your business or organization reward great performance? If you need a way to motivate your team to achieve at its best, consider implementing a program to make sure employees receive a reward when they do well.

2. Make yourself part of the team and show that you care. 

Many people feel as if their contributions to a business go unnoticed, either because they’re difficult to see as a result of their specific job, or that they get lost in the giant amount of activity that can occur in a large business.

As their contributions go unnoticed, they feel less engaged with their job and far less likely to work passionately. Their productivity, and their connection to their job, can slump as a result of these feelings.

The key to motivating employees and raising morale is to make it clear that you care about their work. Make yourself part of the team and get to understand what each of your team’s members contributes.

The greater your understand of each person’s job and contributions, the more you’ll be able to recognize when a certain person has provided value to your business, and the easier you’ll find it to acknowledge their success.

3. Don’t focus purely on results – let employees be creative. 

Some businesses treat their employees like commodities, viewing optimal efficiency through constant work as their primary goal. They ignore the importance of creative thinking and structure their workplace for work, work and more work.

The end result is often poor productivity, low morale and talented people that feel starved of any opportunity to work creatively and put their ideas – which are often many – into practice.

Many of the world’s most productive and successful companies, paradoxically, aren’t all that focused on productivity. Instead of focusing on maximizing their workplace output, they let their employees creatively tackle the situations they face.

Do you give your employees the space they need to be creative? When you give your employees an opportunity to communicate and implement their own solutions, the results are often positive not just for morale, but also for your business as a whole.

4. Focus on the small changes that make all the difference.

Small signs that you’re involved in your team can make a big difference, especially in the modern work environment. From one-off perks to days out of the office, a small, interesting event or addition to your office can often have huge positive effects.

For example, if your team has to work around the clock to achieve a target and can’t spend much time out of the office, bring the comforts they’re used to into the office with them through food delivery or an interesting presentation.

If your team starts work early in the morning, start a morning coffee run to ensure everyone is perked up for the day. If you work with the same team all day, order a set lunch so that you can dine and chat together at the middle of the day.

Small ways to improve the workday can have a big impact on your team, and go an incredibly long way to building strong bonds. What small changes can you make to strengthen your team and improve employee morale?