One of the misconceptions of the idea of a full-time employee is that they have greater commitment than those who work a semi-regular work schedule. From my own experience as a part-time employee, as well as from witnessing the work of my colleagues who work second jobs, the commitment level I have seen often is far greater by those who work less than 30 hours a week in a position.
In terms of reliability, people often associate someone who works 5 8 hour days as someone who is committed to a company. However, from working with SAHMs (stay at home moms), virtual interns, and freelance project managers, I have seen the same type of commitment (if not more) in a 5-10 hour commitment to work than from people who work a traditional workweek.
People with kids, other jobs, and other commitments have other "full-time" commitments that require complimentary "part-time" commitments. The work they do often is a mental escape or a mental boost to help them break up their week and expand their range of influence. As well, they give 100% knowing that they only have 1-3 chances a week to see you in person and want to put forward their best effort.
The next time you are considering expanding your staff, consider opening up some roles for people who can only commit to a few days a week (or a few hours a day) and train them on a specific set of roles and responsibilities. Similarly, consider giving people who have been committed to you full-time to stay on seasonally or part-time to keep them involved in your business.
With my virtual internship program interviews, the candidates always seem to pre-qualify themselves before the interview with an amazing cover letter, a solid resume, and good reasons for wanting to work with me. As well, by the fact that they have searched and found us on Google by searching "Virtual Internships", they have self-identified that they know what they are getting into.
With the virtual internship concept, the more is the merrier. I welcome every intern who wants to create a great resume through our "Resume From The Future" concept. Therefore, although I don't come out and say it always, each call could begin with a "You're hired, now let's talk."
What can you do to pre-identify before the interview the right candidates before you take the time to speak with them?
"A bully isn't a man
A bully isn't a lady
A bully is anyone whose actions are shady
Belittle, be mean, the bully is keen
To be the one who thinks they are the star on the screen
No matter the gender
There is a way to a happy ender
When the bully speaks or writes
Find a way to reply with "return to sender" " Dr. Seuss Braathe
My attempt at being Dr. Seuss above is a way to explain that bullying knows no gender, no boundaries and no limits in the level of ignorance. People try to throw their mental muscle and titles around, no matter what the level in the organization.
Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. Books like the No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss profile how bullies can infiltrate and frustrate any workplace to the point of extinction and cause unnecessary turnover.
Anyone who feels they can throw their weight around at work because of their position of authority needs to be dealt with swiftly. Very often, bullies at work will project their own neuroses at others, calling people aggressive, hostile, mean in order to attempt to threaten people or make them feel like they are in the wrong.
As a survivor of workplace bullying, I know what it is like to deal with people who like to accuse you of the very things that a bully does in the workplace. Be mindful of the terms used, social cues, body language that someone who is being a bully is showing, and you will help diffuse or prevent bullying from happening in the first place.
Apartment living means doing laundry outside of the house for me; however, if I owned a home, I probably would go out and do laundry as well.
When I do my laundry at someone's house when I am away from home, I always end up losing socks, it takes at least 2-3 hours to get all the laundry done because there's only one washer and one dryer, and I end up having to turn the dryer back on for a few minutes with every load because it doesn't dry perfectly.
When I do laundry at a laundromat, I am in and out in less than an hour. I also fill up my car with gas, pick up or drop off dry cleaning, run to the bank, eat breakfast and end up being able to wash and dry all the clothes in one batch. As well, I can get about two weeks worth of laundry into three washers and three dryers and spend about $10 on the whole experience.
What does doing laundry at the laundromat have to do with HR?
1. If you can do menial tasks in less time with stronger resources, why are you relying on having just one person dedicated to simple tasks in an 8 hour workday? (using higher capacity washers vs a home washer)
2. If you have to constantly check on the dryer at home, its less efficient than having the dryer get the job done and know that its going to work. Similarly, if you delegate the work out to someone while you work on other more pressing matters, you work better and more efficiently.
3. If it only costs $10 twice a month to do three loads of laundry, its less expensive than owning and operating a dryer/washer combo at home. Think outsourcing - if you can pay someone a fee to handle things so you can focus on more high return items, you are going to get more out of your time.
So next time you think about buying or replacing that washer or dryer, consider going to the laundromat instead, and think about how this change can influence you to be more efficient, delegate better, and pay people to do work that you don't need to be doing.
SOTH (Survival of the Hive) takes us through, according to the authors, the "macro- and micro-responsibilities of the queen bee and her relationship to a hive. Each chapter explores how the beehive functions through the characters of Zync, a queen-in-waiting, and her fellow bees. Using the bee colony as an allegory to illustrate leadership in an organized community, we provide a working illustration of cultural complexity, leadership clarity and the importance of trust as a foundation of excellence.
What I enjoyed most about the book is how each chapter weaves in discussion questions to inspire leadership groups to study together, and how the seven leadership lessons are weaved through the beehive concept to clearly show how important the principles in the book are to effective leadership.
Some discussion questions that the chapters in the book discuss through the SOTH beehive story include:
1. What does survival of the hive mean for our organization?
2. How does our leadership at various levels within the organization demonstrate the vital P-Factors of Leadership as illustrated in the beehive story?
3. Is there a "shared load" value system in place? Do we make it clear that mediocre or uncommitted behavior is not acceptable?
Download a free chapter of Survival of the Hive here
Deborah Mackin, renowned team-building author, will be presenting on Building an Innovative, Multi-Generational Workplace in Tech Valley for the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Breakfast Leadership series on Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at Empire State College from 7:30-9:00 am.
Building an Innovative, Multi-Generational Workplace in Tech Valley will be the second out of four presentations. The topic to be discussed: how do we get all three generations of our workforce working together effectively? What does it take to lead Baby Boomers, to groom Gen X and to build the leadership skills of Gen Y or Millennials?
Since the professional world has become a mix of generational knowledge, few have stopped to try and understand what assets they have by having all these generations in one area. Many find that the differing generations butt heads; however Mackin will be presenting on how to get these generations to work together to create more organizational leaders. Joining Mackin this time around is newcomer and fellow leadership author, Matthew Harrington, who will add a Gen Y twist to the presentation. Harrington is seen as a subject matter expert in the field of Millennial workers having presented and written on the topic extensively.
Mackin states, "Managing a diverse workplace can be difficult at times. Finding the key to using every generation's strengths can make the workplace more productive and less tense. I find that in order to keep the harmony going among those of the Baby Boomer generation, Gen-X and that of Generation Y, you need to find the skills that are divergent and develop them for the benefit of the organization."
Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Time: 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Location: Empire State College's Center for Distance Learning
113 West Avenue
In 2008, I was at a routine physical when a doctor gave me that look like you never want to see. Thankfully, it was treatable, more common than most people know, and was a great incentive to drink less, eat better and love life every minute.
Turns out eating cereal was killing me. Fortified iron had given me an iron level 6 times the normal. My doctor figured out I had hereditary hemachromotosis, or what some people call "the Irish flu". Untreated, could have had heart brain and liver issues later on in life. They don't usually catch it when you are young but thankfully OD'ing on "healthy" cereal with 100 percent daily allowance of iron brought out the diagnosis when I was 33.
I had to have a pint of blood removed every month for a year, and eat better. Each time, I noticed by energy levels and focus getting better and better than before. It was like having my body rebuilt from the inside out.
Today, I just get a pint of blood removed every three months and watch out for iron fortified foods. I have no high iron issues anymore and I feel even better than I ever did before being diagnosed (although I showed no health symptoms)
So today, be happy that you know that Tony Stark isn't the only Iron Man you know :0). Be sure to encourage your staff to get regular checkups. If that means working it into the work day, providing on site medical or wellness centers, or encouraging regular fitness routines, the health of your staff needs to be a top consideration for your HR strategies.
After seeing one of the greatest things ever filmed on Wednesday night, Star Trek Into Darkness, I looked back fondly at one of my other favorite Star Trek movies, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. In 2008, I "forced" my class (well, that's what some of them felt) to watch The Wrath of Khan but with a catch - they had to answer questions related to the movie to learn Organizational Behavior strategies.
Here were a couple questions I asked of them:
4. Relate Valence, Expectancy and Instrumentality to how David Marcus handles the situation involving the Genesis Project.
5. Describe how Peter Preston (the young cadet who perishes after the battle scene) uses the Status motive to display his performance as a member of the crew
6. Describe how Saavik's interactions with Kirk display the difficulties of cross-culture communication
For the full list of questions, visit http://www.braatheenterprises.com to download a copy. Use it at work, in your classroom, or just watch along with the film and see if you can learn Organizational Behavior using Star Trek.