The Management Blog

Tips & advice to help you improve your performance

 

Exercises & Activities

Are Your Employees Happy?

Here’s a little something to get you started this morning. We’ve talked about the different types of skills a manager should have, including conceptual (thinking in an abstract manner) and diagnostic (being able to respond to a situation). Apply these skills to the following situation:

Joe has been an employee for over 10 years. When you hired him he was enthusiastic about his work and jumped on any task you assigned him. He’d work overtime whenever necessary and always received excellent performance reviews.

Over the past 3-6 months Joe has changed. He complains when given extra assignments, refuses to work past regular office hours, and is generally always in a bad mood. He makes more mistakes than he used to, and his coworkers have complained about his attitude.

Think about the situation and decide:

  • Assume you’ve done a little digging. Why might Joe’s attitude have suddenly changed? Did he suffer a personal loss? Did he miss out on a promotion at work? Maybe he even had a conflict with another employee that you are unaware of.
  • Is there anything you can do to change Joe’s new perception of his job? Should you take action?
  • How has stress impacted Joe’s behaviour? Is this something you can resolve by altering his workload, or is it something he needs to change on his own?

What do you think? How would you handle the situation? Sound off!

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Communication Exercise: Benefits & Compensation

Today we’re going to work a little bit on our communication skills. As managers we have a pretty good understanding of the value of our total compensation package, meaning not only wages but benefits as well.

Unfortunately, most of our employees look only at their wages, or what they’re able to take home and spend. Many don’t realise that their benefits packages cost quite a bit of money as well.

Imagine now that you have an employee who has just entered your office to give notice that he will be leaving for another job. He truly believes he will be making more money, but upon further questioning you realise he will be making only a small percentage more when it comes to wages and he will be losing out on a large portion of his benefits.

What would you to do explain the overall value of the compensation package he is receiving from your organisation? Do you think your explanation would be enough to change his mind? What steps will you take to communicate how much the organisation appreciates his work?

These are two issues I have always dreaded: compensation and resignations. Putting the two together should give you a chance to look closely at each so that you’re prepared to address any situation that arises.

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

Management Blog Call To Action

Managing Change: An Exercise

Change is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to deal with as a manager, especially if you know that the changes you have to implement will cause anxiety or dissention amongst team members. Take a look at the following change management scenario:

Imagine that your company has grown successfully and that you are about to open a second branch office two towns over. The new office will be smaller and the corporation does not plan to hire a second office manager until the new location grows. You will now be responsible for both offices.

In order to make the new office function you must split your team in half. They’ve all worked together well for quite some time, but you must now take a look at the team and determine how it is best split. You’ll hire new employees for both offices, but the new office will need to have staff that is already experience as well.

If you were in this situation, what criteria would you use to decide which employees would move to the new office and which would stay behind? What would you do to ensure that all of your employees were as comfortable as possible with the changes? And, finally, what would you do to make sure that your current employees and the new ones you hire are able to work well together?

Leave your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your approaches to this difficult situation!

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

Management Blog Call To Action

A Simple Time Management Exercise

Today I’d like you to spend a few minutes on another quick exercise that will help you to enhance your personal time management skills. The better you are able to organise your time, the less stress you’ll feel on a daily basis.

Start by making a list of the things that occur within your life, especially within your workplace, that seem to cause stress in your life. Consider outside influences such as children or school as well as your management responsibilities. Is the economy getting you down? Are you worried about an upcoming promotion? Be honest and detailed in your assessment of yourself.

Once you have the list in front of you, try the following:

• Determine whether or not poor planning or time management on your part is causing each event to be more stressful than it needs to be. For example, are you always late for work because you consciously leave the house later than you know you should?

• Make a plan for improving your schedule with regards to each event.

• Are any of your stressors related to each other? Perhaps you’re having a difficult time with your spouse because you work too much; but you feel you have to work to solve your financial worries. Is there anything you can change to realign these issues?

• Do you have any stress management outlets (hobbies, activities, etc)?

I’m sure that once you write out your main stressors and get a better grasp on how they’re impacting your life you’ll be able to move forward in a positive manner. Let me know how this activity impacts your thought process.

Our time management training course will provide you with a lot more techniques and strategies to help you to control your time management demons.

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

Management Blog Call To Action

Quick: Make a Decision

Let’s start the week off with a quick exercise. Now that you recognize that making a decision is not a simple one-two process, you’ll need to formulate a personal plan for handling the major decisions that will come across your desk from time to time. What would you do in the following situations?

– There was a major fire at one of your company’s international plants. The fire was caused by negligence on the part of a group of employees and there was at least one death along with several injuries. The fire damaged surrounding businesses and the cleanup will likely take at least 6 months. Your manager has asked you to write a press release expressing apologies, sympathy for the families of those who were lost, and well-wishes for those who are injured. He knows the press will begin to question you and has indicated you should tell them that cleanup will take no more than 3-4 weeks! You know this is something the public would like to hear, but that the information is incorrect. How will you handle the situation?

– The troubled economy is having a negative impact on your business and sales are down. You’re going to have to let one of your employees go in order to cut back on costs, but both of the employees in question are struggling to get by. You know that one has a medical condition and needs to pay for extra health care, but you know that the other is a single parent with a young child at home. Which one will you lay off?

These are difficult decisions and both will take bit of thought. Are they programmed or nonprogrammed? Are you making the decision based on your personal beliefs, or are you looking at the whole picture and making an ethical decision?

Good luck!

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

Management Blog Call To Action

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