Management Success Tip #78: Work At The Office Or Work At Home? Which Breeds The Most Success?

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Ever since Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer’s recent requirement that employees report to work at Yahoo, there has been much chatter across the blogosphere about the relative merits of working in the office versus working from home. And no doubt, there are valid points generated by both sides.

So here you are, in charge of your department, or Boss of your small business, not knowing which way to go. Better to allow for flexible workplace arrangements or better to corral everyone in the same space?

What if it’s not an either/or? What if you can experiment with what would work best for your specific department or company?

You see, not all humans are created with the same needs or desires. Some people flourish in an environment which facilitates lots of interaction, brainstorming and sharing of ideas. Some people flourish best in private, needing solitude and quiet.

Not only that, but different environments are conducive to different types of projects or challenges. When a project would benefit from open discussion and multiple points of view, having everyone present in one location makes it easier to do so. Other challenges lend themselves better to individual attention on a particular aspect.

You can create a workspace which designates some areas as private, for solitary work, and others as common areas for group discussion. Or you can allow those employees who work best from home to do so, convening in the formal workspace at certain regular intervals. Or any combination of these and many other possibilities.

Let your employees know that you’re experimenting with what workplace arrangements will be the best match for both your individual employees and the overall success of your business. Engage their help in sorting it out, always keeping both objectives in mind: what will give your employees the best support for their personal success and well-being, and give your company the best foundation for its success.


Management Success Tip #77: Feed Your Success By Feeding Your Brain The Ultimate Brain Food—Positive Thoughts!

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It’s obvious that thinking positive thoughts improves your mood, but did you know that thinking positive thoughts improves your brain’s ability to think clearly, make sound decisions, and increases your creativity?

The physiological backstory is simple: brain research shows that thinking negative thoughts, especially thoughts of fear and anger, restricts blood flow to critical portions of your brain. Thinking positive thoughts, especially thoughts of appreciation and love, increases blood flow to those same critical areas. Your brain requires good blood flow to function. The math is obvious: restricted blood flow, restricted thinking. Generous blood flow, enhanced thinking.

A quick, easy way to boost your performance and success ratio, is to gear your mind toward the positive, whether that’s in the simple enjoyment of your ordinary day (how good that cup of coffee tastes, or that you’re warm and cozy inside while the weather rages outside), or in seeing the best in your employees.

Gearing your mind toward the positive doesn’t mean walking through life with blinders on. It means emphasizing the positive side of things.

For example, your employee has trouble getting up to speed on the new software: are they willing to work with a “buddy” or mentor? Focus on their willingness to learn, rather on their slow ramp up.

Or, does your departmental budget not allow some resources you believe would be a big assist? Focus on your employees’ ability to come up with viable work-arounds even as you do all that you can to round up those resources.

Feed your brain the ultimate brain food—positive thoughts!

Management Success Tip #76: Transform Sullen, Unenthusiastic Teams With Promises—Kept!

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There’s nothing worse than to be greeted by a sullen, unenthusiastic team, whose members clearly don’t trust you or anything you have to say.

Granted, you probably inherited this team from a leader who has recently retired, so you feel that it’s hardly your fault this team eyes you with such disdain. Nevertheless, it’s up to you to inspire them to a new and better attitude.

Notice, I didn’t say “whip them into shape.” Today’s employees will not prosper under “command and control” dictates, except in the extremely short term. But they will prosper if you give them reasons to trust you.

Trust is earned by the simple expedient of living up to your promises.

Start small. Promise short meetings that start on time. Then follow through on that promise.

Promise your support with appropriate resources. Describe what appropriate resources are, how you will give support, and then—do it. Every time.

As you consistently give your new team reasons to trust you, they will be more forthcoming. Over time, you will earn their trust, and with that, their commitment to the team, to your goals for your team, can flourish.

Management Success Tip #75: Different Folks, Different Strokes: Engage Your Generation Y’s Motivations For Your Success!

Your new Generation Y hires are driving you spare. What happened to attention to detail or the ability to spell, much less understanding there’s a chain of command?

You can’t believe you’re having to say “No! You can’t waltz into the CEO’s office just because you think your supposedly brilliant idea should be heard by the man/woman in charge!” after said CEO took YOU to task because YOU can’t manage your own department well enough to keep your employees out of the CEO’s august hair.

It won’t do you a bit of good to moan and groan about your Generation Y hires’ behavior. OK, I take that back, it probably will feel very cathartic to moan and groan, but it won’t change anything. If you want your youngest employees to behave according to certain standards, you must show them how those standards fit their own.

Find out what’s important to your Generation Ys. What motivates them? What rings their bells? Figure out what personal bonus attention to detail or remembering to use spellcheck could have for these employees. Show them the most effective ways to get their ideas heard, and give them living examples of how those ways were effective.

Generation Y isn’t going away. If anything, you’ll be managing more and more of them as time goes on. Their enthusiasm, social commitment, and community-mindedness all can benefit your bottom line, if you will but allow it.