Happy Easter!

Happy Easter readers!  Here’s a fun idea for those of you who yet aren’t sure of which way to color your eggs.

What did you do today?

How to Train New Employees

Disclaimer to the person I am training: thank you for reading this blog post, and please share your thoughts on the training so far, as I have not followed this plan down to the T and only found it well into your first week of working in our department.

That being said, training someone is hard.  A week into a new employee, and my direct report, starting, I began to wonder, “is my way of training really the best way?”  I really had never truly been trained in any of my previous roles.  I may have been in my first job out of college but that was 10 years ago and I was so green that flowers were probably shooting out from my fingertips. 

However, in the last two positions, including the one I am in now it’s been a sink or swim kind of scenario.  I really don’t think it had anything to do with my managers abilities, or lack thereof, to train me but more due to the fact that the roles I accepted were new roles, or a role that hadn’t been filled in two years.  Hence, there were no processes or manuals and anything I brought to the team was better than what they had.

That also being said, I would just drop myself in and begin to weed through the daily work.  I created my own goals and presented them to amek sure I was on the right path.  I’d find people to speak with about how they’d want to rely on me for their day to day work and what they’d been lacking in the past.  I would pretty much be expected to blaze my own trail and then come back and say, “what do you think of this way of doing things?” and then have a discussion with my manager.  To that point, as much as I love to share my knowledge and the skills I’ve acquired, I am struggling with how to do so in a manner that makes sense.  So what do I do?  I google.  And what do I find?  A great article about training new hires on askamanager.org.  I especially LOVE the checklist that is in this article.

Partly, the issue is that things are constantly changing and we all have to adapt or re-adapt so as much as I’d love to have all kinds of processes already created, they simply aren’t there.  So as I muddle my way through this and use google in the hopes that I find some good tips, I am asking you, what have you found helpful in your previous roles?  What were you glad that your managers did that made your integration easier into the workforce?

What did you do today?

Spring is here!

Who isn’t ready for spring?  Today I’d like to focus on getting you all outdoors…once the snow melts!  Here are some fun spring activities to do in and around Boston as well as some surrounding areas.  I hope you are as excited as I am to get out from under our layers of wooly coats and think about the warmer days!

Easter Egg Hunt at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport – March 30th
Learn how to sail
– starting April 1st
Red Sox Opening Day – April 6th
Daffodil Days at Blithewold – April 6th-28th
Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum – May 12th
The Rhododendron Festival in Sandwich – May 15th-26th
Annual Figawi Regatta – May 25th-27th

What did you do today?

Here is a full listing of Spring activities from Boston.com
And here is a great article from Time magazine about activities around Boston.

Manager Training 101

As promised, I want to share with you what I learned in the Management Skills for First Time Supervisors course that I took at the end of February.

Effective training can build skills and set both companies and their employees an the path to success.

We all sat down and were greeted by Cherie Cross who is a motivational speaker with corporate experience who told us, in my opinion, about more than we thought we’d get.  She covered not only management tips and tricks but also taught us a bit about labor laws.  Since these notes are my own hand written notes I feel as though I can share with you what I jotted down.  I hope these tips and thoughts help you in leading your team.

1. Act as if you’re happy.
2. Never make decisions based on feelings.
3. You can’t use logic to lead, right and wrong has nothing to do with leadership.
4. Learn to love the color of grey.
5. Blessed are the flexible for they will never be bent out of shape.
6. Never pit employees against one another and don’t take someone’s word unless you saw what happened yourself.
7. Be brief, be bright, be gone.  Just share the bottom line when it may come to bad news.
8. Never defend corporate policy, always support it.
9. Your number 1 responsibility as a leader is to protect egos.
10. You have a right to request respect.
11. Don’t state opinions, i.e. an employee is not a team player, as those can be subjective.  Only focus on facts.
12. A good leader will encourage an employee to own their work.
13. Don’t say, “I don’t know.”
14. Don’t punish mistakes.
15. Present change on a trial basis.
16. Only use “we” when everyone knows who “we” is. (Instead of  “we came to a conclusion” say “a decision has been made”)
17. Instead of using “needs,” i.e. area in need of improvement, say “areas of focus.”
18. Define expectations & define parameters.
19. Never use personality as an excuse not to improve.
20. Eliminate these from your vocabulary: “from here on out” “from this point forth” “from now on.”
21. Confrontation simply means face to face.
22. Delegation=training employees to do your job, Assignment=asking the employee to do their job.
23. Create opportunity if none exists.
24. Ask for volunteers on assignments.
25. Never ask “why?” It is a trigger word & is emotional.  May show that you are right and the other person is wrong and you don’t understand why they did something a certain way.  Instead simply ask them to explain their thinking.
26. How to deal with complainers: Inquire, Validate, Focus on the future.
27. Let liars lie.
28. Keep every conversation directed toward the future.
29. Employees have a right to be unhappy and a right to complain, behind closed doors.
30. The rules of Discipline
        1. Confront in private.
        2. Communicate intentions “my intentions are…to offer support.”
        3. Discuss issues once.
        4. Be specific about the behavior.
        5. Ask open-ended questions that lead the employee to their own conclusions, i.e. how does it affect…, what does corp. policy state, what are you going to do differently?
        6. Offer solutions (if they don’t).
        7. Create a plan.
        8. End with the positive, be specific.
        9. Schedule a follow-up.
       10. Document & hand write everything.

I hope these help you and I know reading them another time and rewriting them should help me commit these commandments to memory.

What did you do today?

P.S. Looking for more resources?  Of course I have some for you:

1. Training is key for positive employee engagement
2. Effective Management Skills
3. A test – How Good are Your Management Skills?

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day, ladies!

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P.S. Don’t forget to spring your clocks forward this Sunday.

Creative Resumes

This resume has been going around the web and was even featured on the Today show as a creative way to get recruiters to notice you.  This is a short posting but I wanted to share it with you as I think it truly shows how far out of the box this guy thinks:


What did you do today?  Did you come up with a creative way to stand out during the interview process?

P.S. Read the full article on the Amaz-ing resume above.

P.P.S. Have you read my most recent blog post on the Bullhorn Reach blog?  Check it out and find out why I think success is a subjective matter to discuss.