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Posts Tagged ‘Performance Management’

How to Handle a Boss Who Yells

Misplaced agression much? Whether your boss verbally abuses by yelling, belittling or bullying employees, that’s so not cool. This type of environment instills fear and who wants to work in that situation?

Unfortunately, abusive bosses exist and it’s not exactly like we always have a choice about who we report to.

As pointed out in a piece on Fast Company, for starters, don’t take it personally. It’s like the book, The Four Agreements — this isn’t about you. It’s all about them. Plus, you can’t fix your his or her problems but you must be able to learn to deflect from the abuse. Imagine yourself wearing a shield where their words or actions get deflected by the armor.

Everyone’s situation may be a bit different but this type of negative environment could be all-consuming, draining and downright scary. If your boss is making threats, definitely report it to HR.

Sometimes the only way out is literally to get a new job. A boss that has the ability to make everyone miserable also has the ability to succeed in that feat.

If you try to stick it out or at least stick it out until another gig comes along, start identifying their triggers. What makes him or her go off the deep end? Is it arriving late to a meeting? Not responding quickly enough to voicemails? Having a messy desk? Observe and chances are, a few clues will reveal themselves so you can be proactive and avoid stepping into the wrath of anger.

Now, bosses that fall into this category may also be manipulative and have serious psychological disorders. Sometimes bosses may be clueless to their behavior; in other instances not so much. They know they can get away with it, they know what buttons to push. The key is picking your battles wisely and if you feel like you’re constantly walking on egg shells or becoming self-conscious about your work due to derogatory remarks, it’s definitely time to seek help.

The key is also not waiting until it gets to the breaking point. The Fast Company piece reminds us to stay calm: “Be specific about how his or her abusive behavior is affecting your work and which particular actions are intolerable. But whatever you do, keep your cool; nothing good can come from a yelling match.”


How to Deal With a Micromanaging Boss

As soon as we simply hear the word, we start to cringe. Meet the micromanager.

You know the type. He or she is toiling away through all hours of the night, IM’s you and expects you to respond. Or how about breathing down your neck with deadline after deadline asking for status updates?

Okay, suffice it to say we’ve unfortunately had our share of micromanaging bosses at one time or another. They dive into products too much instead of letting their direct reports spread their wings to fly, the micromanager has been known to dictate every step of the way. Read more

Four Signs It’s Time to Leave a Dead End Job

Ever feel frustrated on the job? Maybe your editor just doesn’t recognize how hard you work or maybe you’re not personally satisfied with meeting deadline after deadline.

Well, according to a piece on Forbes, there are a few factors to pay attention to as you begin to think your career is officially on a dead end path.

1. The job has run out of gas.  Headhunter Jorg Stegemann points out several phases of a job within the piece: the honeymoon, reality, learning the ropes, mastering the job, question marks, demotivation, and the inevitable burn out. He asks, “Which phase are you currently in? Do you feel energized when you think of your job or worn out? Do you fight or have you given up?” The key, it seems, is not waiting until phase six approaches. Instead, pay attention to warning signs like lethargy and sweating the small stuff. He says in the blog post it’s ideal to depart during phase four or five.

2. Your industry is in turmoil. With a variety of mergers and downsizings, not to mention the state of newspapers, it’s probably safe to say the media industry is transitioning at the moment. If you hear news that your company is tightening its belt,  pay attention to your department as well as others. How is your employer treating people? Is solid talent being let go? Or are smart role models you admire leaving by their own choice?  He adds, “Without a quick turn-around, brain drain spells the beginning of the end. It might be time to consider a career change.”

3. Company profits are down (or non-existent). Stay abreast of your company’s financial well-being as well as your own deparmtent. For instance, if you’re a copy editor in the print side of the house, maybe it’s time to move into the web division instead. Also look around to see if your company is positioned well within the marketplace. If it doesn’t measure up and seems to be disintegrating, it may be time to leave that ship before it sinks.

4. There’s nothing in it for you. Seriously. If you dread going into the office every morning and get nothing out of it other than punching the time clock and receiving that pay check, accept it for what it is: A dead end street. And start making moves to pursue a job opportunity that’s more fulfilling with a brighter tomorrow.

Would You Stay With an Employer That Demoted You?

If you’re in tune to the latest TV headlines (and even if you’re not), listen up. Randy Jackson was demoted from a judge to a mentor on American Idol and then was named a judge again.

So, the question is, similar to Randy’s situation, would you remain with a company that demoted you?

Of course, in a slow economy the first reaction is probably, “Yes.” After all, finding a new job isn’t too swift these days but maybe you would start to look right away? Read more

Four Things to Remember to Ask During Your Annual Review

Whether your year-end review pops up after Labor Day, in early spring or even June, chances are as a full-time employee there are metrics in place to measure your importance.

As such, your pals here at MJD are doing our part to remind you of key things to ask during the year-end meeting, as inspired by a piece on The Daily Muse.

1. Areas for growth. For starters, a review may feel good when you get accolades for a job well done but you can get even more out of the meeting when you ask your performance manager what you should focus on and more importantly, how you can get there.

The key as well to valuable meetings is knowing your manager’s abilities. While you should leverage the meeting as a growth opportunity, realize not all managers are created equal and your boss may not even be able to provide you with productive feedback. Read more

Four Ways to Help Your Team Advance

There’s no “i” in team, right? What better way to propel your career and feel the satisfaction of group collaboration than having your team succeed right there along with you, right?

According to a recent post on The Daily Muse, there are several ways to move forward, in particular if you’re managing a team right now. And if not, and you’re on the track for managing editor or even a promotion to oversee a few associates, it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about ways to achieve group goals. Read more

How to Handle Three Bosses Who Get Political Without Playing Referee

We’ve seen this situation all too frequently. You report to one editor but have a dotted line to another and technically you all fall under the umbrella of the managing editor anyway.

But what happens when all three editors don’t see eye to eye, creating the perfect scenario for political warfare?

If it’s any indication from today’s New York Post, the advice is to look for the nearest exit door. Gregory Giangrande, chief human resources officer of Time, Inc., writes in the piece,

“You find a new job. Because while the work load and prioritizing problems that can come up when supporting more than one boss can be solved under better circumstances, you can’t solve the fact that they are unprofessional, don’t like each other and talk behind each other’s backs. So the likelihood of getting them to cooperate to make your job manageable even if you did want to put up with their unprofessionalism is nil.”

Essentially, he doesn’t recommend trying to become a referee. Instead, he advises to transfer internally or look for a new job externally.

New Workplace Recognition Study Reveals Five Ways Managers Miss the Mark

Ever feel like your hard work has gone unnoticed? You’re not alone.
Almost half of the full-time employees who responded to an Office Team survey said they would be “somewhat or very likely” to leave their current job if their manager didn’t recognize a job well done.

An independent research firm conducted the study based on telephone interviews with 431 employees in an office environment.

As for the type of recognition that matters most? The Benjamins. People want to be compensated monetarily; 38 percent said they prefer tangible rewards whereas 21 percent prefer opportunities to learn and grow.

On the other hand, 19 percent prefer verbal or written praise and interestingly enough, 20 percent indicated they don’t need any type of acknowledgment for doing a good job.

In addition to the type of recognition people want, the survey also broke down results generationally. Approximately 65 percent of employees between 18 and 34 are more likely than any other age bracket to leave their current position if they feel their hard work is being unrecognized.

According to the press release, Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, stated, “Professionals want to know their contributions make a difference and will be rewarded, especially Gen Y workers. Because individuals like to be acknowledged in different ways, managers should find out what their workers value most and customize recognition accordingly.”

That said, not all recognition is created equal. Some managers may recognize their team but completely miss the point. Let’s take a look at five recognition blunders as pointed out by OfficeTeam:

1. Acknowledging incorrect facts. Whether a person’s name is acknowledged incorrectly or an achievement is miscommunicated, this one definitely lacks effectiveness. Fact check, please!

2. Offering token gestures. Got paperclips? Um, not exactly. Bestowing someone with office supplies for a major accomplishment like a five-year anniversary or promotion will send the message that a major milestone isn’t that major at all.

3. Being vague. Giving someone at pat on the back for a “good job” is simply too generic. The best way to boost morale? Point to specific behaviors so people know what they did right.

4. Going overboard. Sometimes all people need to hear are two succinct words: “Thank you.” Simply giving credit where credit is due can be much more powerful than being over the top.

5. Overlooking contributors. Some people may shy away from attention but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be recognized. OfficeTeam suggests celebrating “unsung heroes” who worked hard behind the scenes.