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Time to Let Someone Go at Work? Here’s How to Do It Properly

If it’s time to let someone go at work, you may be wondering how to drop the bombshell without creating chaos. Firing an employee is easier said than done, and in some cases, there is more than dignity at stake, so it’s important to tread carefully.

Aside from the obvious discomfort of firing your problem employee, letting him or her go too hastily could be detrimental to your business. Those who feel they were mistreated could take legal action, so you need to make sure you’re following the necessary steps to avoid ending up in court.

With this in mind, here are four tips to help you lay someone off at work without creating unnecessary conflict.

Give Your Employee Time

If you have to let someone go from your business, it shouldn’t come as a shock. You should have been providing the employee with feedback throughout his employment and giving him chances to improve. If someone gets fired out of the blue, he is more likely to want to take action for wrongful dismissal.

Similarly, you should give your employee time to attend the meeting. Don’t schedule it for first thing in the morning, but don’t wait until the end of the day either. If you’ve planned a meeting, your employee probably knows what’s coming, so give him time to prepare.

Be Private

Respect your employee’s privacy by keeping his colleagues in the dark about his departure, so he doesn’t feel like he’s been shunned from all sides. When it comes to letting him go, make sure you do it in a quiet space away from other workers and give him a chance to leave unnoticed. Whatever the circumstances, your employee has the right to retain his dignity.

Be Kind, Not Condescending

There’s no reason to belittle your employee, no matter why they’re leaving the business. In fact, talking down to someone in this situation could come back to haunt you later down the line. Ex-employees talk to competitors and potential clients, and you don’t want your name dragged through the dirt.

To avoid getting a reputation as a poor manager, try to deliver the news as kindly as possible without being condescending. Offer to help the employee find a new job by pointing him in the direction of a free resume builder or providing a reference. Your employee may be upset or angry when you first lay him off, but over time he will remember those small gestures and speak of you more favorably.

Focus on the Facts

Don’t make excuses or come across too personal. It’s entirely acceptable to fire someone because he doesn’t fit in with your business, so don’t feel like you have to lie about budget cuts or pressure from above. Be honest and tell him it’s not a good fit, and try not to stray into emotional territory. Have an HR representative present with all the required documentation to hand, and keep the meeting formal but friendly.

Firing an employee is no one’s favorite job, but it does need to be done from time-to-time. Approaching the situation with humility and care will make the process smoother for everyone involved, so be sure to follow these four steps.

9 Team Building Activities Your Entire Staff Can Enjoy

In theory, organizing team building activities is a perfect way to get your team to get to know each other outside the office and form a stronger bond within the office as a result. However, finding the right activity for everyone if you are running a company that has multiple departments can be a real challenge.If your workforce is very diverse, there’s a good chance that preferences are going to vary – especially if you have a workforce in which there are employees who are not all the same relative age. This is why you need to find a way to celebrate these differences by choose activities everyone feels comfortable participating in.

Here’s a list of fun team building exercises everyone can participate in and enjoy.

Scavenger Hunt

Purpose: Teamwork

A scavenger hunt is a classic team collaboration game. The rules are easy:

Split your team into equal sized groups and send them out with a list of fun things to find. You can choose whether you want to do this in the office or outside the office. Set a time limit for all groups and put together some fun clues or even riddles that will force your teams to get creative and use not just their eyes but their brains as well! Whichever team comes back with the most items once time has run out is the winner.

Minefield

Purpose: Communication and problem solving

For this indoor game, you will need an empty room or hallway and a bunch of random office items. You can use office chairs, paper, boxes, anything you have around the office that isn’t too delicate or expensive to create obstacles in the empty space or “minefield.” Divide teams into pairs in which one of them must be blindfolded.

The other one must guide that person from start to finish without setting off any mines. That means they cannot step on any obstacles or venture outside the given boundaries. Their only guidance is the voice of their partner. You can change the number of pairs and obstacles depending on how difficult you want this game to be.

Three Truths and a Lie

Purpose: Getting to know each other

This is a really easy game. Before starting, give each team member four slips of paper where each of them can secretly write down three truths and one lie about themselves. It’s very important that the lie is believable. Instruct them not to reveal to anyone what they wrote down!

Then allow 15 minutes for conversation between the team members. This is the time when everyone should go around the room and talk about their written talking points in random order. The goal here is to convince others that your lie is a truth while you try to guess other people’s lies by asking them different questions. Remember- you should not reveal your truths or lies to other team members, even if everyone else has already guessed everything!

Say My Name

Purpose: Breaking stereotypes

Everyone should write down names (e.g. someone famous) or types of people (e.g. professor, doctor, wealthy, athletic) on name tags. Then put those tags on each team member’s back or forehead so they cannot see who they are but everyone else can.

Give people a few minutes to talk to each other and ask questions. The point is to treat everyone according to stereotypes related to the name on their tag. After each team member figures out who they are, they should exit the game and leave the rest of the people to continue playing. This game allows your employees to have fun and engage in conversation while confronting stereotypes at the same time.


Office Trivia

Purpose: Bonding

This is one of the easiest team building games to put together! All you have to do is come up with a series of questions about your office and then test your team’s knowledge. You can ask a variety of questions such as: “What brand of computer does a certain employee use?” “How many people are in the finance department” or “How many windows are there in the office?” or “Who takes their coffee with cream and sugar?”

Besides bonding people through conversation, this fun and easy team building activity is great for testing how observant people are and how much they know about their office, company and colleagues.

Community Service

Purpose: Enhance teamwork and collaboration

Find an activity that reflects your company values, get out of the office for a day and do something good for your community. This team building activity is not only excellent for getting your employees together and bonding through something that’s incredible positive, it’s also great for the overall image of your company in terms of local marketing.

When businesses go out into their communities and help people in need, the members of the community take notice and reward those businesses with loyalty.

Mural Painting

Purpose: Enhancing creativity

For this fun and creative team building activity you will need paint, brushes and something to paint on. It can be a canvas or a wall of your building/office. The point is to give each member of the team complete freedom to paint whatever they want. Give them a general theme and then let everyone create their own colorful masterpieces.

If you are giving an individual canvas to each employee, put them together and display them in your office as a mural once they are dry. Some people might refuse to paint at first because they don’t think they are talented, so make sure you explain to everyone that this is not a contest. This game’s purpose is to show that everyone has a creative side once they overcome their fears of showing it.


Make Your Logo

Purpose: Problem solving

Start by asking everyone to empty their pockets, purses and wallets and gather all the coins you can find and then place the coins on a table in front of you. Each team member should create their own logo for the company or team using the coins in front of them in one minute.

You may also use pens, notebooks, paper and anything you else you have around the office to create the logo. The logo can represent the team members individually or you can work together to create a logo for the department or even the entire organization. It’s a fun and creative game that encourages resourcefulness.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Purpose: Communication skills

For this team building activity, you will need a small piece of paper for each employee and a list of well-known “couples” such as peanut butter and jelly, Romeo and Juliet, salt and pepper, and so on. Each team member should wear the name of one half of each pair on their backs.

Have everyone mingle and try to figure out the word on their backs while only asking each other “Yes or No” questions. Once they figure out their word, they have to find the other half of their pair. As they find each other, have them sit down while the rest of the team continues until everyone has connected with their pair.


About the Author

Tamara Luzajic is a web content writer and editor, currently working as a copywriter at Humanity, employee scheduling and workforce management software.

Assembling Individuals Into The Best Team

No team comes together overnight; most people are so focused on doing their own job to the best of their abilities, that they often fail to consult their colleagues on what needs to be done. Just because they’re all doing different jobs, does not mean that they’re not all working towards the same goal. As a team leader, you now have the unenviable job of turning all these hard-working individuals into a strong team. Unfortunately, this is sometimes easier said than done; on an average workday, most people would rather focus on their own workload than think about the bigger picture and how their job affects someone else’s tasks. To help team leaders on the challenge ahead, here are a few tips to help them bring everyone together.


Team-building exercises

Whilst getting them to do trust-falls or play Blind Man’s Buff would probably cause them to resent you, team-building exercises gives you the chance to bring your employees together, and maybe even share a few jokes if the right opportunity presents itself. That way, there’s something social that they can all share, which helps them to bond and unite. Alternatively, try an exercise to get to know every team member on a personal level. That will help you get to know them, and allows the team to view one another as people, not just co-workers. Anything you can do to build trust between co-workers will develop team cohesiveness, and it will make it easier for everyone to think of themselves as part of a unit, instead of one of many employees.

Promote communication

Communication is key to making sure your business runs efficiently. Technology has provided companies of all sizes with a very efficient tool to improve team communication; while you should never underestimate the value of the phone or email, instant messaging apps such as Slack, Hipchat, or Campfire instantly pass work updates to your colleagues. You can also use them to share files, start conversations for group projects, and automate tasks. This is faster than typing an email and waiting for the recipient to type one back. Good communication also means that you have to be clear about goals, deadlines and expectations for each business term. Sometimes efficiency can drop because employees haven’t been updated about new company goals, or the communication about new business goals weren’t clear. As the team leader, you have a better idea of the company’s business goals, but you need to accurately communicate it to your employees if you expect productivity to remain high. If emails aren’t clear enough, arrange a meeting and encourage your employees to ask questions. It will go a long way to preventing further confusion.


Make sure everyone has support

As the team leader, whenever your team is at work they are under your care. This means that you have to provide them with enough support for them to do their jobs properly, whether it’s making sure the IT support is always on hand whenever the computers are down, providing them with further training, or just making sure you have a good open door policy. If someone on your team is having problems with a co-worker, their workload, or something personal that is affecting their work, then make sure they know they can come to you without any judgements. Encourage everyone to give you feedback on their work environment and policies, so that you can tell upper management what is working and what needs improvement. Productivity will improve as a result of a more positive office morale, and your team will work better for you if they feel supported.


Assemble the right individuals

When hiring someone to do a job, it’s also important that they know how to work well with others, and know to collaborate or work independently as necessary. Everyone has different strengths; your campaign strategist might have excellent ideas, but they might be terrible at communicating these ideas with the rest of the team. If someone on your team is consistently struggling to meet deadlines or contribute to team projects, find out what it is they need to get them on everyone else’s level. Chances are, they are just not the right fit for the rest of the team and they might be better off somewhere else.

Ultimately, a good team comes together when they have a leader that inspires them. Someone who knows how to give instructions, but doesn’t micromanage. Make sure you take on a few tips to become a great team leader.

The Keys to Strong Working Relationships

You may enjoy your job immensely, but if you haven’t got good working relationships with the people you work with on a daily basis, it can make your life a misery. All it takes is one failed relationship to make your whole view on your job change completely. You may feel like you want to change jobs or you may feel like you’re unable to work with the individual in question. Building strong working relationships will not only mean you’ll be able to enjoy your job, but you’ll also have support when you need it and you’ll be more likely to succeed. Good working relationships are important in every sense – an employer with employees, employees with their employer and colleagues with one another. So, here are some tips for perfecting all three.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

An Employer with Employees

You’re reliant upon your employees to do a good job in order to keep the business running as successfully as possible. Your employees need to know that they’re able to come to you with problems and you’ll calmly offer solutions. If your employees are afraid to bother you or believe they’ll be reprimanded for small mistakes, they’re less likely to keep you informed. So, how do you build a relationship that allows your employees to enjoy your company and respect your views?

First and foremost, you need to remember that your employees are the ones who are the first point of contact for your customers. What they do is important and employers often forget that. As an employer, it’s easy to feel like you’re superior to your employees, when in fact, their jobs are just as important as yours. If you present yourself in a way that makes your employees feel inferior, they may not believe you’re approachable.

As the businesses boss, you’re sometimes the odd one out. You’re doing a different job and it’s likely that you have your own office space, away from everyone else. Therefore, you have to do what you can to blend in with the crowd. Come out of your office at break times and enjoy a coffee with your employees so you can find out more about them and their lives. Consider how you’re dressing too. If you’re walking into work wearing a designer suit and tie, you may be inadvertently setting yourself apart from the rest. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be turning up looking smart; but, you don’t have to throw your superiority in everyone’s faces.

It can sometimes help to go back to basics. When you’ve been running a business for so long, it can sometimes be difficult to remember where you started. Try to trigger your memory by doing your employees job for a day could help you to realise the pressures they’re under and what you could do to make their jobs easier. Ask your employees for any suggestions and don’t try and keep secrets. It’s important you have an open relationship with your employees, where you can say what you need to say and they can return the favour.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Employees with an Employer

If you can build a good relationship with your employer, it can make your job so much easier. Even if you’re only in your job for a short amount of time, you’ll need to rely on your employer for a good reference and they may be able to point you in the right direction when you want to climb the career ladder. So, how do you create a relationship with your boss that will benefit you both?

One of the main things to remember is that your boss is human. There may be days when your boss is under immense stress and that could result in you and your colleagues getting the brunt of it. It’s difficult not to take it out on the people you work closely with when something major goes wrong. Don’t take it personally and try to remember that there are more good days than there are bad. Underneath the title, your boss is just like any of the rest of you. So, build a relationship in the same way you would with any of your other colleagues.

Along with your quality of work, your boss will also expect a high level of reliability and honesty. So, if you’re known for pulling a few ‘sickys’ and your boss has to deal with unfinished work, you aren’t going to build a strong foundation for a good relationship. Can you imagine if you turned up to work and the doors were closed with a note saying, ‘sorry, but I won’t be paying you today’? Trust and reliability works both ways.

It’s always nice to be told that you’re doing a good job or your work is fantastic. But, your boss may not always have time to give you praise. Don’t sit there and wait for praise to come and then get upset when it doesn’t. You should be able to tell when you’ve done good work and be proud of yourself regardless. Everyone has a different kind of communication style, and it’s worth taking the time to figure your bosses out. It will be easier for you to figure out your boss’s style than your boss attempt to adjust his style to each individual employee. Once you’ve cracked it, you’ll have a much easier time when it comes to talking to your boss one-to-one.

Creating a good working relationship with your boss doesn’t mean you need to be best friends. In fact, it doesn’t even mean you have to like each other. But, you do need to rely on each other. So, do what you can to show your boss that you’re willing to go above and beyond and you may just get the same back.


Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Employees with Employees

Colleagues have the opportunity to become lifelong friends. In fact, many colleagues do become best friends. If you think about it, you probably see more of your colleagues than you do your own families. This is especially true for people working shift jobs, like nurses. Take a look at Staffnurse.com vacancies for phlebotomists and care assistants and you’ll see the type of hours they work. So, it’s important you build great relationships with your colleagues so you have a better chance of enjoying the work you do.

It’s a much different type of relationship than that of an employer and employees. You’ll spend a lot more time with your colleagues than your employer, so you’ll have more of a chance to get to know one another. Be honest and open from the get go. Learn to communicate well with others. Some basics are eye contact and body language. Don’t be afraid to be truthful about your flaws. It isn’t like the playground at school – no-one is going to tease the new kid. In fact, many people end up bonding over similar flaws.

Remember that everyone is different. When you attempt to get to know people by chatting and opening up, you may come across people who are less enthusiastic about building a relationship. Some people are quiet and reserved, so it doesn’t mean you’ll never have a relationship with that person, it just may take longer to develop. When building relationships with colleagues, it’s important to be observant. You may spot someone reading a book you’ve read before which could be a good talking point for you both. You may notice someone suffering from a head cold, so offering to lighten their load or making them a cup of tea could go a long way to starting a lasting relationship. People don’t often remember what you said, but they’ll certainly remember the way you made them feel.

One of the most important things you can do when you’re starting new working relationships is to find some common ground. Perhaps you like the same TV programmes or you enjoy going to Yoga class. Perhaps you have children of a similar age or you have a family member that drives you crazy. There are lots of things, some surprising, that can help people to connect. It also worth remembering not to be a colleague snob. There are many companies where colleagues stick to the same department when it comes to building relationships. Someone from the I.T department surely couldn’t be friends with someone from the marketing department? Thinking like this will only result in you missing out on valuable friendships. If you have the opportunity, try and connect with people from different areas in your workplace. It’s not only good for you to establish as many relationships as possible, but having connections can often lead to new opportunities. You’ll never know if you’ll be interested in swapping departments in the future.

Working relationships have the ability to make your working life wonderful or a living hell. Which would you choose? Make an effort with your relationships by following these steps and you could find a workplace that you’re happy in for years to come. After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal?

Two Awesome Hours

Whether we love or hate our jobs, the amount of work most of us have to do each day has reached unsustainable levels. We start a typical workday anxious about how we will get it all done, who we might let down, and which important tasks we will sacrifice-again- so we can keep our heads above water.

As we grab our first cups of coffee, we check our e-mail inboxes on our handheld devices, scanning to see who has added a new task to our to-do list. The stress builds as we read e-mail after e-mail, each containing a request that we know can’t be dealt with quickly. We mark these e-mails as unread and save them for . . . ‘later.’ We mentally add them to the piles of work left undone the night before (when we left our offices much too late). More e-mails to answer, more phone calls to return, more paperwork to fill out. And everything needs our immediate attention.

In fact, too many things need our attention before we can even get to the tasks that really matter-and too many things matter. We frequently work all day long-at the office and then at home, taking care of our families, cleaning up, paying bills-sometimes only stopping to sleep. There simply isn’t enough time, but so much always needs to be done.

The key to achieving fantastic levels of effectiveness is to work with our biology. We may all be capable of impressive feats of comprehension, motivation, emotional control, problem solving, creativity, and decision making when our biological systems are functioning optimally. But we can be terrible at those very same things when our biological systems are suboptimal. The amount of exercise and sleep we get and the food we eat can greatly influence these mental functions in the short term—even within hours. The mental functions we engage in just prior to tackling a task can also have a powerful effect on whether we accomplish that task.

Research findings from the fields of psychology and neuroscience are revealing a great deal about when and how we can set up periods of highly effective mental functioning. In this book, I’ll share in detail five deceptively simple strategies that I have found are the most successful in helping busy people create the conditions for at least two hours of incredible productivity each day:


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About the Author

Josh Davis (Photo Credit © 2013 Ron Holtz Photography)Josh Davis, Ph.D., received his bachelor¹s from Brown University and his doctorate from Columbia University. He is the director of research for the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI), a global institute dedicated to synthesizing scientific research and guiding its use in the business and leadership fields. Davis is also a member of the faculty at Barnard College of Columbia University, a NeuroCoach, and a certified Master Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). HE has blogged for HBR.org and Psychology Today, and his work has been reported online at CNN, CBS News, MSNBC, USA Today, and Bloomberg Businessweek.