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Are You Overlooking a Toxic Work Culture

A toxic work culture is sometimes right under your nose and you don’t even know it. If you are the manager or a boss, think about the work environment your employees deal with on a daily basis.  Think everything is fine?  Ask your employees and you might be surprised.

Toxic culture

Toxic work environments are not just caused by a dictator boss.  It can come from employees in a position of power intimidating other employees, employees bullying one another, watercooler gossip, groups isolating individuals, etc.

If the behavior creates a culture where employees are scared, intimidated, or constantly unhappy, it will erode your organization.  You will see diminished productivity, creativity stifled, and employees will just generally sad.    You might see increased absenteeism, tardiness, and eventually increased turnover.  The best employees are often the first to jump ship.

Something You Can’t Ignore

Signs of a toxic workplace

All this can be happening when you as a boss do not even realize there is a problem. (Until you ask!)

Often when there is toxicity in the work environment, your most passionate people become quiet. Employees begin to feel marginalized and unappreciated. According to Forbes, 53 percent of Americans are currently unhappy at work.  That is a lot of unhappy workers!

A toxic work culture is costly.  It can eventually cost you in lost revenues, settlements, and damages.  Don’t let it get to that point.

Now, more than ever, managers need to talk to employees and address issues of workplace toxicity.

As a manager, it is important that you find out what is really going on.  Don’t just assume things are fine because no one is saying anything.

While you may not be aware of what is happening, other employees may just assume you are looking the other way and allowing those who are creating the issues to continue or that you even support them.

How do you fix a toxic work culture?

If you hold a leadership position, whether you’re the CEO, middle manager, or team lead, never underestimate the power of your influence. Even if you are not the one creating the toxicity, there are things you can do to improve the culture in your workplace.

It all starts by practicing the following behaviors:

1. Identify Problem and Acknowledge It

  • Talk to employees one on one and get to know how they are feeling about work, coworkers, the work environment, etc.  Let them know they can be honest and there will be no retaliation or sharing their info with other employees.  Talk to employees from all levels of the organization.  Five minutes here and there can make a big difference.  Ask pointed questions about their feelings and let them know if something is amiss, they can reach out to you.
  • Do some research.  How many sick days are being used by employees?  Are people taking their vacation time?  Is the workload too heavy? Are employees taking care of their health and taking advantage of healthcare benefits. Is bullying a problem?
    • In a recent article, 10 Shocking Workplace Stats You Need to Know, from Forbes, they indicated American workers forfeited nearly 50 percent of their paid vacation time in 2017.  The fear of falling behind is the number one reason people aren’t using their vacation time.
    • Inc. reports toxic workplaces are the 5th leading cause of death.  Are your employees working themselves to death?   Be aware of the hours your employees are working and ask yourself:  Am I contributing to an excessive workload?  Can it be sustained?  Are there changes I can make to fix the workload of any one individual?
    • According to The Balance Careers. bullying often manifests as an abuse of power whose targets suffer serious and long-lasting emotional and physical health-harming effects. Not unlike batterers who emotionally abuse their victims, bullies engage in learned abusive workplace behavior because they often get away with it.  Bullies are cognitively aware of their actions, changing their behavior when in the presence of superiors, often appearing charming and professional.

2. Develop a Plan to Fix the Problem

  • Stop micromanaging.
  • Encourage balance.  All work and no play makes for a dull person.  Productivity increases when you have balance in your life.
  • Provide clear communication and expectations.
  • Provide policies and follow them.  Be consistent and fair.
  • Allow for some fun and flexibility.   A small dose of fun can have a dynamic impact on the tone and climate of organizational culture.
  • Reduce Stress.  Time away from work is a major factor in stress reduction.  Time away from the job almost always increases productivity when they return.

3.  Take Action and Follow through With What You Say You are Going To Do

  • Let employees know they can count on you.  Don’t just give it lip service.  Actually do what you promise.
  • Show appreciation for what they do.  People nowadays are worn down and underappreciated. These two factors are a breeding ground for toxic behavior–because when people don’t feel valued, they lose their desire to try.  Look for the good in others and mention it!
  • Be an example and show others the values and priorities you feel are important and expect them to follow.
  • Apologize when you are wrong.Toxic Culture
  • Be Present.  Get out of your office and let employees know you are around.   That you care about what they are doing.
  • Use your vacation time and encourage employees to do the same.
  • Take care of your health and encourage employees to do the same.  Mention your Dr. visit or eating healthy, exercising and going to the dentist.  You are setting an example.
  • Be transparent and let employees know what is happening in your business.  You would be surprised how many employees do not know what the company goals are.
  • Show respect, integrity, authenticity, appreciation, empathy, and trust.  Expect the same of all employees.

There is Hope for Improvement

The causes of toxicity and hostility in the workplace are many and created by all levels of employees.  But there are many ways to improve a toxic culture.

Talk to your employees today and learn how they feel.  If there is something or someone creating a toxic work culture, take action immediately and fix the problem.

Your business depends on it!

Other Posts of Interest

Is a Toxic Job Adding Too Much Stress?

11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

 

By |2019-09-09T13:31:40-05:00September 10th, 2019|Career Success, How to Be Happy at Work|Comments Off on Are You Overlooking a Toxic Work Culture

Does Your Resume Need an Update?

Are you looking for a new career opportunity and feeling a little left out of the job market? If potential employers aren’t responding to your resume, your resume format, skills and experience listed on your resume could be the culprit.

Does Your Resume Need to Be Updated

Potential Problems?

Here are some of the items on your resume that could be a problem:

1. Dated Resume Trends

Some old resume rules no longer apply. In addition to tailoring your resume to each industry, and also each company,  you’ll also need to tailor it to the way that you share it through different formats.

Some old rules you CAN forget!  A few are:

  • Your resume needs to list everything you’ve ever done.
  • All your experience needs to be listed chronologically.
  • A resume can only be one page.

2. Dated Industry Terminology

If you’ve been adding to the same old resume over the years, your skills and experiences may have obsolete terms. Read through industry publications or attend a professional association meeting to catch up on the latest industry jargon.

3. Dated Technology Skills

Read the job descriptions within your industry to see what technologies employers really want. Then decide what you need to learn or do to fill that technology gap.  Make sure if you are listing the skills, they are current.

Don’t be disheartened if your resume is out of date, now is the time to fix those problems.

We Can Help You

Career Find can help you rework your resume and create an updated version that will help you get the job you want and deserve.

Other Posts of Interest

Does Your Resume Stand Out  from the Crowd?

Top 5 Errors To Avoid While on the Job Hunt

By |2019-08-18T23:37:14-05:00August 19th, 2019|Resume|Comments Off on Does Your Resume Need an Update?

Is Working Remotely For You?

Many people dream of working from home in their comfy clothes.  According to a report by Global WorkPlace Analytics, 4.3 million employees are working from home at least half the time.  Research indicates the remote work will equal, if not surpass, fixed office locations by the year 2025.  Is working remotely a good fit for you?

Working Remotely

If you’re considering working remotely with your current job or you’re looking for another job so that you have the ability to work remotely, there are some things to consider. There are plenty of pros and cons to working remotely and only you can know if it’s the right fit for you.

Things to Consider Before Working Remotely

Here are some things to consider before you decide to work remotely . . .

The Pros:

Location Independent

You can work wherever and whenever you’d like, for the most part. Your company may still require you to work set hours or you may need to reach a certain level of productivity every day or every week, but your schedule can be more flexible.

If it’s a nice day, you can choose to work outside. Or maybe your kitchen table is preferred over your home office. You can be more productive in the morning so you can finish your work by early afternoon. The choice is yours.

Save Money

You’ll save money. Without the need to commute every day, you’ll save money on gas, tolls, and parking. You’ll also be less likely to go out for lunch. And, you won’t need to buy as many “work” clothes and pay for dry cleaning.

Focus

You can stay more focused without coworkers popping into your office all day long to distract you with questions or new projects. You’ll need to have some willpower to avoid the pile of laundry or the TV until your work is done, but there won’t be as many distractions as you would normally have at the office.

Less Drama

You can avoid office gossip and drama. You know all of those conversations that take place in the employee break room about who’s dating who, who got promoted, and who’s in trouble with the boss? Yeah, those. No more! You’ll no longer get caught in the middle of the drama.

The Cons:

Isolation

You may feel left out. If you’re an extrovert who thrives on having people around you, you may start to feel lonely and left out. You won’t be in the office for impromptu meetings and you won’t hear all the latest news about what’s going on in the company.

Lack of Motivation

Unless you’re a self-starter, it can be hard to stay focused and productive. You may be tempted to check your Facebook feed, start the dishwasher, or make a quick run to the grocery store which will take valuable time from working and leaving you being less productive.

Making Remote Work A Success

If you decide that working remotely is for you, you can learn to manage your productivity by time blocking your schedule and turning off apps and websites that distract you. You can schedule short breaks throughout the day that allow you to take care of those chores. And, you can video conference into office meetings so that you can still be part of what’s going on.

There are ways to make it work for you, but it can still get lonely. Only you can decide if it’s the right choice. You may want to present the idea to your boss and ask to try it out for a few weeks or month before making it permanent to determine if it works for you.

Other Posts of Interest

Hurricane Season is Upon Us….Be Prepared

11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

Top 10 Tips to Ace Virtual Interviews

 

 

 

By |2019-07-31T10:59:13-05:00July 31st, 2019|Career Success, Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on Is Working Remotely For You?

Hurricane Season is Upon Us….Be Prepared

Hurricane season is here!  The time to prepare for a hurricane is well before one shows up on the radar and is moving closer to your home. Taking some time now to prep will save you a lot of trouble down the road.  Now is the time to prepare.

Hurricane Season is here. Be prepared.

I Lived Through A Hurricane Harvey

When Hurricane Harvey came to town, I was told that my home was not in an evacuation zone.  At 1am on the 3rd night of the storm, I was notified that we needed to evacuate within the next 6-8 hours and to expect 4 feet of water in our home.  Many of the homes in my neighborhood were damaged. Fortunately, my home was spared, but I still had to evacuate with two small children and multiple pets.  The lessons I learned can help you be prepared for this hurricane season and other disasters that might occur.

Hurricane and Other Disaster Tips

These tips will save you time, money, and countless headaches should a disaster strike in your area.

1) Discuss evacuation plans and routes with your family NOW.

Everyone needs a game plan that works best for their family.  Having everyone on the same page prior to evacuating helps things go much smoother.

2) Make a checklist 

Make a checklist of what you need to do before you leave town in the event of an evacuation. If you can make this list now with a clear head, you will be able to trust it when you are in a hurry.  Have more than one copy of the list.  Make sure all family members know where the list is kept.

3) Create a Hurricane Supply Kit

Make a Hurricane or Disaster Supply Kit that includes:

  • Battery operated radio and a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight & Extra batteries
  • Cell phone, laptop/computer (external hard drive) and  wall/car chargers
  • Extra eye glasses/contacts
  • Bottled water (1 gallon of water/daily/per person for 3-7 days)
  • Non-perishable food and snacks
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Dry clothes & Bedding
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Games to pass the time
  • Insurance information & Important documents
  • First Aid kit
  • Medications & copies of prescriptions
  • Special products for babies, elderly and medically fragile family members
  • Pet care items: food & water, crate, leashes, doggie waste bags, toys
  • A roll of toilet paper & A roll of paper towels

4) Resume copies

Back up your resume and other important documents on a portable flash drive and keep one sealed in a ziplock bag inside the Hurricane Supply Kit.  This way, reconstructing a resume from scratch in a time of hardship is totally avoided.  You may also desire to keep one in another safe place, such as a safety deposit box.

5) Learn evacuation routes   

Knowing what route will be used in advance is calming.   Drive the route from your home when things are normal to familiarize yourself.  Expect and prepare for traffic delays.  

6) Gas in your car

Try to keep a full tank of gas in vehicles.  The last thing you want to do is go to the station to fill up when disaster strikes.  You want to be able to jump in your car and go.

7) Know Where to Find Information

One such site that gives all kinds of alerts is Emergency Alerts

Time Invested Now Will Save You Headaches

Spending a small investment of your time pulling things together now, before they are needed, will save you headaches, frustrations, money, time, and potential heartache down the road.

 Hurricane season is here and we just never know when another big one might hit or some other disaster could occur.  Don’t roll the dice with this one. 

Make a Hurricane Supply Kit with your resume included in it this weekend.

Another Post of Interest

This post provides more information about what to do after the storm and who to contact for help.

Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes

For Pinterest:

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season and Other Disasters

 

By |2019-07-16T11:05:44-05:00July 16th, 2019|Hurricane Prep|Comments Off on Hurricane Season is Upon Us….Be Prepared

Is a Thank You Note Important?

Is sending a Thank You note old school?  Does it make a difference?    The Thank You note never goes out of style and is an important follow-up after an interview.  It needs to be a part of your job search strategy and it needs to be completed in a timely manner.  Let’s examine why it is so important.

Thank you note

Is the Thank You Note Necessary?

The answer is a big YES!  CareerBuilder recently reported that 22% of employers are less likely to hire a candidate if they skip sending a thank-you letter.  Everyone enjoys being thanked, including hiring managers and human resource officers.  Sending a thank you puts you in a positive light with them and that “top of mind” edge can make a big difference.

Digital or Handwritten Note?

While handwritten notes are often kept and sometimes placed on a desk as a nice reminder, time is often of the essence in the hiring process. An advantage of electronic mail is it will be received immediately.

If you are excited about this opportunity, it is important to send both an email and a handwritten thank you note sent via U.S. mail.  As soon as you get to the car after the interview is over, from your phone, send an email thank you note individually to each person that you met with. If you interviewed with two people, and a recruiter coordinated everything, then you will email the two people that interviewed you, and then send an email to the recruiter thanking for the opportunity to interview, as well as providing your feedback about the interview.

You can take a bit more time writing the handwritten note but send it as soon as possible.  Be sure to write legibly and check your spelling.  A handwritten note will make a big impression and help people remember you.

If you really did not like the opportunity, and are sure you do not want to move forward with them, then only an emailed thank you note is necessary.

Again, the email thank you note is sent before you leave the parking lot, and from your car.

What to Include

It should be a personal note, not a stock response or an online template.   A personal note helps your submission stand out.

Be sure to include the following:

  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Use a professional subject line  –  Job Title, Firstname Lastname–Thank You
  • Thank them for their time and the interview.
  • Include a sentence about your qualities of why you would be good for the job.
  • Reflect back on the conversation/interview and mention at least one point that showcases your qualifications.
  • If you told them you would provide something or send links, be sure to include them.  Even if you didn’t promise them you can always send a link to an online portfolio or another item of interest that lends credibility to your application.
  • Point out anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask.
  • Sign with both your first and last name and your contact info. (There could be a dozen people with the same first name applying.)

Things to Remember

Prior to clicking send, remember to do the following:

  • Proofread and spellcheck – Your document should be error free.
  • Remove anything in your signature that might make you look bad. (A quote or photos that do not show you at your best. This includes personal social media profiles that contain unprofessional pictures or behavior.)
  • Don’t be too casual.  No Slang. Be respectful.
  • Send the Thank You.

Send That Thank You Note

Get the Thank You note sent as soon as possible and keep your candidacy “top of mind”  and demonstrate that you have the good manners and proactive communications skills that employers desire.

Need Help In the Job Search Process?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to create a resume that will differentiate you from other job seekers and develop a  job search strategy to help you feel confident as you begin your job search.

By |2019-06-15T12:35:30-05:00June 18th, 2019|Job Interview|Comments Off on Is a Thank You Note Important?

11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

While it’s completely normal to experience stress in your job from time to time, feeling that way every day is not normal. If you feel stressed out in your work environment, even on the good days, you may be experiencing burnout or working in a toxic environment.  Even if you love your job there are steps you can take to make sure you maintain a work and life balance.

Work and Life Balance

Tips for Work and Life Balance

There are a few ways you can make your work atmosphere a little easier on yourself. Here are some ideas for getting through the day when you can’t wait for the day to be over:

Understand Balance

“Balance” doesn’t mean “equal.” There are times when either work or your personal life takes more weight, depending on what’s going on at the moment.  It is an ebb and flow situation and goes back and forth. You are still balancing things.   When you have to worry is when one side takes over your life for a long, extended period and pushes you to a breaking point.

Take Breaks

Allow yourself a 10-minute break about every 90 minutes and get out of the environment for a bit.   Even if it is just doing something different, going to the restroom,  or walking to the water cooler for a drink.   Even better, go for a walk outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Take your lunch break away from your desk. Listen to an audiobook, it will allow you to escape your environment for a bit and get your mindset back on track.

Create a Soothing Environment

If you have a desk, cubicle, or office that is all yours, make it a soothing environment. Listen to soothing background music as you work, keep your favorite mug nearby, add photos of your family and pets, add colors that bring you joy. Plants add life to an office.  Making your space more comforting will help reduce your stress.

Schedule Important Personal Activities.

Put them on your calendar just like a big meeting.  Things such as doctor appointments, dentist visits, school activities for your children, date nights with a spouse and more can quickly fall by the wayside if they aren’t purposefully scheduled. Block out your calendar for important personal events, and you’ll find they happen as they should. It can be tough to remember in the middle of a stressful day, but they’re just as important as any meeting.

Set Boundaries

If customers or colleagues think it’s OK to call you at 10 p.m. if they need something, they will. Set boundaries around when you are, and aren’t, available. Doing so will help you relax when you’re off the clock and avoid burnout.  It also helps others to know what to expect.

Take Up a Hobby

Having something you enjoy to do when you’re not in the office will help you keep your mind off work when you’re not there and will put you in a stronger frame of mind when you have to go back.  Pick something fun that you enjoy.

Turn off Technology

We now live in an “always on” culture with smartphones and other technology. However, you have power over your devices. Be intentional about turning them off and taking technology breaks. It will help you tremendously by keeping you more focused during your productive periods.

Create Balance

So often we hold on to work stress even when we’re not at the office. Or we work longer hours than we really need to, creating more stress. Find a balance in your life, not only in the time you spend at the office but in your mindset. Find a way to “turn off” the office when you’re not there. When you leave the office at the end of the day, signal your brain that it’s time to stop thinking about work by turning on the radio, calling a friend, or planning a great meal for dinner.

I have a friend that had a commute to and from work.   She identified a certain location on her commute to be where she changed what she thought about.  When she hit that spot going home, she shifted her thoughts from work to family, fun, future plans, etc.   As she was going to work, when she came to that spot she began thinking about what she would do first when she got to the office.  After a week or so of consciously doing this, it became a habit and it happened without thinking about it.

Get Exercise

Physical activity helps reduce stress, relieve tension, and makes you happier. Getting a little activity into each day will make the stressful part of your day easier to manage. Go for a walk, take a yoga class, do stretches at your desk, or simply go into the stairwell of your office building and walk up and down the stairs.

The exercise doesn’t have to happen at work.  Plan time at home to work in some exercise.  The more you exercise the better you will feel about your life in general.

Know Your Own Energy Cycle

Everyone has a natural energy cycle throughout the day. You can probably pinpoint times when you usually feel more focused and productive, as well as times where you want to take a nap instead of spending another minute at the computer.

If possible, schedule your tasks according to your energy. Do lower-energy administrative tasks when you’re in a lull, and more important work when you’re energized.

Schedule Vacation Time

It is important to take extended breaks from work.   Did you know that over 55% of Americans did not use all their vacation time last year?  Remember, vacation time doesn’t have to involve a week-long tropical getaway (although that’s a great way to recharge). Even a day away from the office can be enough to leave you feeling re-focused and refreshed.  Research shows that employees who plan to use all their time off are significantly more likely to actually use that time off.   It is important to your mental and physical health to take vacations from work.

Stressful job environments are all too common, but you don’t have to burn out or leave the job.  There are ways to take care of your physical and mental health and have a better work and life balance.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help planning an exit strategy and getting ready for the job search so your next job will be a place you truly enjoy working, your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a consultation.
By |2019-05-21T07:35:01-05:00May 21st, 2019|Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on 11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout
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