Understanding The Difference Between Being A Leader And Being A Boss

Understanding The Difference Between Being A Leader And Being A Boss

In the workplace there are bosses and there are leaders, though the two are very distinct, there is only a fine line between the two. Here are a few differences between a boss and a leader:

Leaders Lead

Leaders tend to motivate employees, working beside them on projects, giving them inspiration and ideas. Employees will thus follow the example set by their leader, helping them to become leaders on future projects. However, bosses push employees to finish assignments before deadlines, don't give much advice, and leave their workforce without strong guidance. This lack of involvement creates dissatisfaction and a loss of respect among the employees for their boss.

Leaders Listen

Leaders are more likely to listen to and value what employees have to say before speaking up themselves. Leaders value equality in their assignments and have a deeper respect for their employees than the average boss. Bosses are more likely to be dominant when having conversations with their employees, expecting their staff to carry out commands without question. This leads to employees feeling undervalued, as they are not truly being heard.

Leaders Work

Leaders are most likely giving suggestions, working alongside employees, and motivating the team when working on a large project. This hands-on approach shows employees their leader values his time the same as he values theirs. Bosses tend to stand aside and supervise when a project is started, only interacting to give commands or criticism. This hands-off approach restricts the creativity of employees, ultimately making them less motivated.

Leaders Are Respected, Not Feared

Leaders rarely have to force employees to complete tasks, as they are beside their team for every step of a project. Therefore, their team is more likely to already understand what is expected of them, so there is no reason for them to fear their leader. Bosses, however, tend to give more orders and less guidance, leaving employees in a state of intimidation by their boss as they do not know what is expected of them.

Tags: 

Pros And Cons Of Hiring Remote Employees

Pros And Cons Of Hiring Remote Employees

Remote employees can be a great addition to any team, but they may not be the best fit for every employer. Here are some pros and cons of hiring remote employees:

Pros:

Find Better Employees

There may not be someone exactly right for your position where you're located, so making the position remote can help you find someone better fit for the job. Hiring remote employees allows you to get someone who is the best fit for what your company needs.

Retain Better Employees

Employees are happier when they're given the freedom to work when and where they want, so they will be more likely to stay in the position longer than your average employee.

Lower Costs

Remote employees cost less to employ and maintain than on-site employees. Their expenses are overall lower and you save more on not having to provide extra insurance and on-site equipment as they provide all of that themselves.

Cons:

Minimal Face to Face Interaction

One downside of remote employees is how little you get to see and interact with them. It’s harder to check in regularly and see how projects are going when employees are not in the office, as you have to contact them through email or phone rather than simply visiting their office.

Team Challenges

Having remote employees makes teamwork more difficult as one part of the team is harder to get into contact with. It also makes keeping the team together more difficult as they would not be able to participate in team-building or other office activities.

How to keep employees interested and engaged

How to keep employees interested and engaged

Keeping employees interested in their daily routines can be difficult. After doing the same activities daily, people tend to become less engaged in their responsibilities. Here are some ways to keep employees interested and engaged:

Encourage Creativity

Being forced to carry out tasks, in the same manner, every day creates a monotonous environment for your employees, this will lower engagement and make it harder to find employees willing to take on extra tasks. Encourage your employees to be creative with their workspace, projects they're working on, or how they tackle tasks. The more creative your employees can be, the more likely they are to engage in the workplace and volunteer for any extra assignments.

Decorate

Many workplaces are devoid of décor and are painted in the simplest way to avoid distractions, unfortunately for employers, this can backfire. Drab surroundings leave employees unmotivated, adding plants can avoid this lull by keeping employees focused on their tasks. Plants also remove bacteria and dust from the air, creating a cleaner environment.

Recognize Success

When employees feel as if their work is not being noticed, they tend to become disengaged with their tasks. Employers can help keep employees engaged by recognizing when they make a vital addition to a project, take a leadership role, or just have a good work ethic for a difficult task. Employers can recognize employees through personalized emails or just thanking them for their addition to the team.

Keep Busy

Most employees prefer to stay busy through their entire shift rather than being bored. Staying busy tends to make time go by faster, this helps cut out days beginning to feel monotonous which will help employees stay interested longer.

How To Handle Different Personalities At Work

How To Handle Different Personalities At Work

Being a part of a team means being a part of a group of people with different backgrounds and different personalities, learning to handle those different personalities can be hard but necessary to the proper functionality of the team. Here are some tips to help you better handle all of the personalities that you'll encounter in the workplace:

Stay Focused On The Team

Remember that at the end of the day, you're all on the same team. Try your very best to get along with the people you have to work with, because if you don’t, it will make team work much more difficult than it needs to be.

Learn To Let Go

The key to working with a lot of different people with a lot of different personalities is to learn to not take everything so personally. Someone may say something that you might consider rude, but to them it’s funny, people have different senses of humor among other differences, so learning to go with the flow a little more will help you to better handle those different personalities.

Learn To Handle Egos

Some people have bigger egos than others, some people need to act like they're better than everyone else to make themselves feel better. This is just how some people are and when working in a team, it is crucial to understand this. Sometimes you just have to let people talk themselves up to get the job done, and that’s okay, it’s all in how you handle it.

Stay Positive

Gossip happens, it’s inevitable. The key is to always keep it positive, talk about how great people are doing on their projects or how well the new guy seems to be fitting into the team. The second gossip turns negative, the team will begin to turn against each other and fall apart.

How To Ensure Your Employees Are Performing Their Best

How To Ensure Your Employees Are Performing Their Best

The team is going to be at its peak performance when all of the members of the team are performing their best, here’s how to ensure that your employees are performing their best:

Set Goals

Set goals for your employees, so they know what your expectations are early on. Setting goals helps to ensure that your employees are at their peak performance. Employees are performing at their best when they know what is expected of them.

Develop A Plan

Employees also perform their best when they know how to go about achieving what is expected of them. Developing a plan will help ensure that your employees are meeting your goals, which will ultimately improve the overall functionality of the team.

Empower And Assess Your Employees

Rewarding employees for accomplishments will encourage positive behaviors and ensure that they are performing their best on future tasks. Even simply letting employees know that they're doing a great job can be enough to empower employees to keep doing the same great work. 

How To Be An Effective Team Leader

How To Be An Effective Team Leader

Leading a team is not always easy, but here are a few tips to make it a little better:

Make Time For The Team

Make time to be there for your team, to lead them properly, not from afar. Also, get to know your team, getting to know each member on a more personal level will help you lead them better as a whole.

Communicate

You can’t lead if you aren't willing to communicate. If you don't communicate, employees won’t know what you need them to do and they will have to lead themselves. Communicating with your team and allowing them to openly communicate with you is crucial to leading an effective, productive team.

Lead By Example

If employees see you sitting around on your phone not doing anything, then they won’t want to do anything either. Taking an active role will encourage employees to do the same.

Be Willing To Learn

Rewarding employees for doing well is great, but encouraging employees to learn from failures is even better. You need to be willing to learn from missteps so that you and your employees can grow and improve.

Be Decisive

Knowing how to make a decision is one of the hardest, most important things you can do as a leader. Making decisions and following through with them is crucial to the team running smoothly. It is also incredibly important to delegate tasks, so that you have more time to focus on other tasks and all employees get the opportunity to help.

Tags: 

The Importance of Conferences

The Importance of Conferences

Conferences. For some, that word brings out a sigh as they picture boring speakers that go on for days. A new age of conferences has arisen and become a very important tool in networking, learning about the field, and keeping up to date on the latest developments. Essentially, conferences are about throwing some of the most important people in a particular industry or career field and forcing them to teach and interact with each other. These meetings are designed for those already working at the companies, but those are not the people who are going to get the most benefit from the speakers, panels, and dinners that comprise a conference.

The people that have the most to gain from attending conferences are undergraduate students, recent graduates, and those looking to switch career fields. They are the ones who can benefit from listening to speakers who talk about current research in the field, meeting managers and heads of divisions of the big companies in the field, and talking to people already employed to see what it is truly like to work in that career. These are the people that conferences need to be marketing to because they have the most to gain. How else is an undergraduate going to know if they are better off working in engineering or computer systems? Conferences allow an unparalleled chance for learning and reaching out to others that students may never meet otherwise. They can network and find jobs while also showing companies the kind of talent that is soon to be entering the workforce.

Conferences can be utilized by both employers and future employees to start a process of learning about new advances, making friends, and connecting as a community that serves the same career field.

Take Your Child to Work Day: The Importance of Children Being Exposed to Their Parents’ Careers

Take Your Child to Work Day: The Importance of Children Being Exposed to Their Parents’ Careers

Do you remember the days where companies would host “Daddy-daughter work day” or “bring your child to work day”? These are events of a past time when businesses incorporated family values into their goals and allowed time to be spent not only on the company growth, but on the personal growth of each employee. Unfortunately, this idea is a distant memory from a bygone era, and I am starting to wonder why. Why do we no longer want to expose our children to the workforce from a young age? Why would we want them to be less educated about their parents’ work or left unexposed to a normal office environment?

Children need to know what different career fields look like, what kind of work their parents are expected to do, and how interactions occur in an office environment. They are eventually going to grow up and enter that workforce, so why should they not be educated about it as they learn the lessons that will allow them to have careers? Bring your daughter to see what an IT technician does, show your son how to manage a group of marketing executives, or take your kid and teach them about running a store and working with employees. The younger we show kids about adult life, the better prepared and excited they will be about the choices they get to make when they become adults. How can we expect them to know what they want out of a company if they have never seen someone work at one? We push teenagers to take jobs and find they have no clue how to interact in the environment because they have never seen the other side of the cash register.

Parents are supposed to guide their children and teach them how to grow up into fully functioning members of society, and part of that society is their careers. Companies need to reinstate the “bring your child to work day” not only for the benefit of their employees and their families, but to their own advantage as these children will grow up to become a more competent workforce.

Short-term vs long-term goals: when to use each

short-term vs long-term goals

In the current whipsaw environment of stock market measurements, evaluations, and executive compensation programs, it can be easy to forget that no product will last forever. No market share will remain unchallenged. Everyone will refine the process as time goes on. These are simple facts. We often lose ourselves in the effort to perfect the current situation which leads to the detriment of preparing for the next situation.

Executives need to remember their job is to think for the future, not about the present; even the board of directors needs to be reminded to extend their focus on to a longer time frame. There are plenty of managers to hold kaizen events; executives need to be thinking about the next product, market, and focus should be. There is one question you need to ask which will help determine whether you are focusing on a short or long-term goal: Can you measure its effect quickly?

This applies to any project. If you can see a change in pieces per hour coming off an assembly line, it is a short-term goal. If you will not know for another year or two if the market will accept it, then it is a long-term goal. The time frame to measure success is what defines whether it is a short-term goal, as a real long-term goal cannot be determined as right or wrong for a longer period of time which involves greater risk. This is why executives need to be focused on the long-term and big-picture roles because they have the scope and power to take risks with a business. Leave short-term goals for lower levels of management as they have the focus and ability to accomplish those easily and efficiently.

Everything goes back to that one question: can you measure its effect quickly? So, now use your discretion and answer this question to the best of your ability in order to maximize productivity on every level of your company.

Tags: 

Transitioning from Summer to Fall

Transitioning from Summer to Fall

Every worker knows that things change during the Summer when kids are out of school. The roads are less busy during commute, the heat keeps people indoors in their cubicles, and at any given time someone is on vacation. Once August hits, and the children start back for the new school year things start to speed up again. Budgeting season hits, planning begins for next year’s projects, and there is the final push to finish up this year’s projects. Do not get left behind in the excitement of the Fall season!

The first thing to do is take a deep breath; recognize that this is happening and just give yourself a moment to shift your mindset. Also, be aware that many of your employees and customers who have children may be overloaded for a few weeks until they settle into a routine. The best way to help your employees get back on track with the business pace is to set a few goals and deadlines to create clear objectives that they can meet and readjust to timewise. Create these goals as a way to prepare your employees to dive into the third quarter and finish out the fiscal year strong. This is especially important because as customers work on their own budgets and plans for next year, you may see in influx in requests for your information and proposals. These are going to set up next year’s work and many businesses have a cycle of what is planned in the Fall is done in the New Year. Do not lose out on these opportunities because your company is stuck in the Summer slump.

            Another great way to kick off the new season is to host a back-to-school team building event to get everyone excited for finishing their current projects and starting new ones. Note, this is not the time to have a go away retreat; try bringing in bagels or donuts one morning and have everyone gather for a stand-up meeting. These “coffee and catch-up” sessions go a long way in building internal relationships and increasing employee motivation.

            Do not get caught up in the slow Summer pace and give your company a boost by using a few simple tricks to get your employees ready to transition into Fall.

 

Pages