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Monthly Archives

October 2013

Cyber-Bulling: The Latest Weapon of the Workplace Bully

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Cyber-Bullying and the Workplace

 

Social media has become a popular platform for bullying and harassment to occur. Unfortunately, the truth is that cyber-bullying is easier than traditional bullying. People who cyber-bully have anonymity, being able to hide their face.

To make problems worse, Facebook posts and Tweets are permanent and can reach  a wide audience causing big drama. What does all this have to do with your workplace? Cyber-bullying among your employees can result to a Title VII claim against your business if they aren’t dealt with. It can wreak havoc in your workplace and disturb the working atmosphere.

Bullying does not exist only on playgrounds and schools. It carries well over to adulthood and is present in the workplace. About thirty-five percent of adults in the United States reported for workplace bullying. This is a staggering number — about 54 million workers.

Tips to Prevent Cyber-Bullying

  1. The first step is to recognize the situation. Cyber-bullying is online harassment. It is critical that you do not associate or respond to the person. Engaging with a bully will only make matters worse.
  2. Make a copy of all the threatening messages and photos the bully sends. The easiest way to do this is to take a screenshot of the webpage at where the issue is occurring.
  3. Contact and notify the website operator of that page via phone and email. Explain that you are filing a police report with your local police department and insist that the content be taken down immediately.
  4. Not all police departments have “internet crime divisions” so unless the person has threatened your life, they may not be able to get involved.

Although these tips are for the individual, your company can use these guidelines to help individuals that are victims of cyber-bullying. In the end, the lawsuit may fall on you for not taking actions and creating a safe working environment for your employees.

How to Earn Respect: Getting the Respect You Deserve at Work

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What Does It Mean To Earn Respect?

Most employees aim to like their jobs, and all want to be respected. Sadly, doing a great job and earning respect don’t happen to always be mutually inclusive. There will be people that work harder than others, only to get walked over by their co-workers or upper level management.

Respect is given to people who are valued. If you are a tremendous workaholic, but can’t grasp the politics of the office, you are good as dead. All work, but no recognition. The best benefit of being respected is that your life away from your job will rarely be impacted by your career. Here are some tips on how to gain the respect you deserve.

Stop Caring So Much

I’m not saying you should stop caring at all. People often become obsessed with their careers. It’s good to show that you are competent at what you do, but don’t over do it. If you’re always working later than everyone else, chances are, your employer will take advantage of you.

Yes, the economy is tough, but you cannot be walking around, terrified about where you will be if you lose this particular job.

Don’t Miss Deadlines

There is a reason people call them deadlines. Meeting deadlines show that you are accountable. With that said, if someone gives you an unreasonable deadline, respectfully point out that your work quality might suffer and the task might not be deliverable within that time frame. Give an alternative suggestion.

Keep A Clean Workspace

You don’t have to brush off the dust everyday. A slightly messy desk can show that you are getting work done, but having candy wrappers and bottle caps lying around your desk doesn’t look too impressionable.

Never Be Late To An Appointment

Nothing shows more disrespect than saying, “I value my time more than yours.” If you make an appointment, make sure to arrive promptly.

According to the New York Times, the average American spends about 45 hours a week at work. This is a big chunk of your life. By following these tips, I hope that you can earn the respect you deserve at work.

Common Leadership Mistakes

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“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”  – Oscar Wilde

We hear that learning from our mistakes gives us a better opportunity for the next time something occurs. However, not making the mistake in the first place is even better.

In this article, I will be providing the most common leadership mistakes and how you can avoid these errors. Reading about these mistakes now can better prepare you to avoid them in the future, ultimately saving yourself the trouble.

1. The Lack of Feedback

For example, Jane may be a great customer service representative, but she has a bad habit of answering the calls unprofessionally. Her boss is waiting for her performance review to address this issue. Unfortunately for Jane, until someone brings this problem to her attention, she will continue the way she talks.

Failing to provide feedback at the appropriate time is one of the most common leadership mistakes. By waiting until the last minute, you are depriving your employees to improve their performance.

2. Being Hands-Off

One of your team has completed an important project for a client. The problem is that the team misunderstood the task and completed the project in the wrong manner. Now, you are faced with an angry client that needs an explanation.

Many leaders try to avoid micromanaging. With that said, being laissez faire isn’t the best way to manage either. Find a good balance between these two styles to fit the needs of your company.

3. Too Friendly of a Leader

Everyone wants to be seen as friendly and approachable, which is good. Sometimes though, you will be required to make some tough decisions regarding people on your team. People will try to take advantage of your friendship in those situations.

This does not mean you cant be friendly towards your team. It just means to be friendly with moderation – the line between being a friend and being a boss should be set clear.

4. Undefined Goals

Not setting clear goals will prevent your team from being productive. Since they don’t know what the goals are, priorities might not be set properly completing tasks in the wrong order.

5. Not Delegating

Some managers cannot delegate work because they don’t think anyone but themselves can complete the given tasks. This often leads to too much workloads leading to stress and burning out.

You are the manager and your responsibilities are different from your previous position. Learn to trust your team and delegate tasks as you focus more on the broader picture.

Things to Remember

We are all prone to making mistakes, but these are the most common mistakes when it comes to managing your team. It’s true that mistakes can be a great learning opportunity, but avoiding these common mistakes can help your team become more productive and successful. You will be highly respected by your team.

Tips For Preventing Workplace Violence

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Workplace violence

 

Preventing workplace violence is critical because it can happen at any place and any time. Workplace violence includes verbal abuse and physical assaults affecting more than 2 million victims every year. Being prepared and aware of the workplace is your best bet on preventing workplace violence.

Are You Preventing Workplace Violence in Your Office?

One thing we recommend is creating a safe working environment by creating a zero-tolerance policy against workplace abuse. You can also create an anonymous tip hotline for people to call if they have concerns about another employee. Conducting annual background checks are also important in creating a bully-free work zone.

Sometime, you will be able to see warning signs of a potentially dangerous employee. Some signs include dramatic changes in attitude and behavior. For example, if someone is always happy and sociable, but one day becomes reserved and doesn’t speak much, it may be an indicator that something is wrong.

One way to spot and correct these problems is to establish a dialogue. Most frustrations occur from a lack of communication or miscommunications in general. Having the proper means to vent out physical and mental frustration will prevent an outburst of violent behavior. Many companies have even implemented  an Employee Assistance Program where employees and supervisors can get help.

Regardless of how workplace violence occurs, we can all agree that it is not something we want to experience. By follow these tips, you can catch the problem before it escalates to something uncontrollable. By addressing the problems immediately, you are able to mediate between parties and prevent violence in the workplace.

The Mental and Physical Impact of Bullying

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A shocking 30 percent of American youth children are reported to being bullied or is a bully, according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. Yale University released a report saying that bullied victims are are between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide.

“Not only does bullying have a huge emotional impact for those on the receiving end, but it can have a significant adverse effect on health, both in terms of current and future health. Beyond the injuries sustained if bullying takes a physical form, as a whole being bullied can influence everything from mental health to how strong your immune system is and whether you will develop chronic diseases in the future.”

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How to Respect Workplace Diversity

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Workplace diversity entails more than simply race and gender. Today’s office environment includes people from different ethnicity, age, education, and even income level. The importance of having mutual respect in the workplace not only helps foster a positive work environment, but also brings the melting pot of employees together. However, when diversity is poorly managed, it can lead to resentment among employees.

Benefits of Workplace Diversity

Each employee has his or her life experiences they bring to work everyday. These different points of view can be beneficial to your organization. Different approaches often mean more creative ideas and ways to work around any adversity the company faces.

Encourage Ideas

Respect is important when it comes to sharing ideas. Without mutual respect in the workplace, some employees might not share ideas because of the fear of being ridiculed. When your co-workers feel respected, they will be more receptive to share ideas with you on future projects.

Foster Teamwork

Teams are successful when all team members feel valued. Bringing together a group of employees and teaching them to respect workplace diversity can equip the whole team to quickly deal with adversity. When group members are able to respect one another for their beliefs and differences, the organization will be more productive.

Reduce Conflict

Conflicts slow down the productivity of employees since it prevents them from working together. It creates resentment and can lower the morale of the employees. Having respect for workplace diversity is critical. When both parties have respect for one another, it can be easier to resolve conflict because they won’t feel discriminated against when they don’t get what they want.

Are workplaces really becoming more disrespectful? How else can you establish a respectful working environment?

5 Tips to Managing Workplace Conflict

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Your office is naturally a stressful environment. A workplace conflict between co-workers can arise from stress.  Managing workplace conflict can sometimes be difficult. By understanding the problems and taking positive actions, you can help make your office into a place where you want to be.

1. Have an Open Mind

Different people see things differently and require multiple points of views in order to find common ground. Try to understand the different perspectives that each person is coming from. Everyone should have a chance to speak and clarify their position and opinion on the issue. It might be helpful to apply a time limit to prevent tangential clutter.

2. Be Respectful

The workplace can be a very diverse atmosphere. This means that what is acceptable to one person may be offensive to another person. Aim to use a business-like language and speak professionally. Don’t let your emotions do the talking.

3. Don’t Personalize Disagreements

Don’t take it personally. Seriously, don’t. It is most likely that your co-workers simply have a different perspective on the project. It is not a negative assessment of you as a person. Be open to constructive criticism and don’t take it as a personal attack.

4. Ask for Help

If the conflict continues to build, ask someone you respect to act as the mediator. This person could be your manager or a human resource professional.

5. Expect Conflicts

In a perfect world, there would be no conflicts at the workplace. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to avoid conflict. No matter where you work, you need to learn to expect conflict as part of your work life. The critical thing to gain from all this is that you deal with all conflicts in a productive way.