12 Tested Ways to Manage Time-Off Requests around the Holidays

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12 Tested Ways to Manage Time-Off Requests around the Holidays

For most HR practitioners, trying to coordinate a pile of time-off requests for the upcoming holiday season is hardly your favorite part of the job. No one really wants to be the one to tell employees that their request to spend time with their families during the holidays is being rejected, but depending on a whole slew of factors—industry, company size, production schedules, client demands, staffing levels, or even job specific duties—sometimes the reality is, the work has to get done.
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Will Employees be Grateful for Time Off this Thanksgiving?

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According to the results of ERC’s 2015 annual Paid Holiday Survey, in addition to the Thanksgiving Day Holiday, most Northeast Ohio employers are providing a paid-full-day-off the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 27). A handful are also providing a full or half-day the day before.

Thanksgiving Infographic


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Why Employee Handbooks Matter

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 Why Employee Handbooks Matter

Employee handbooks first and foremost reserve and protect the rights of an employer.  In addition, they can help clarify expectations, facilitate better communication with employees, and can reduce risk related to litigation or unionization. As Merritt Bumpass, a partner in the Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Group said,

“An employer has a legal relationship with each of its employees. The crucial issue is what are the terms of that relationship, and the creation of a well written handbook is a very good way to establish clear and acceptable terms of that relationship.”

However, not all handbooks are created equal, and in order to maximize the impact of your organization’s handbook,  we spoke with the attorneys at Frantz Ward LLP, who gave a few suggestions for essential policies you should consider.


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I Used to Be Their Friend, Now I'm Their Boss

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Friendships in the workplace aren’t bad (in fact, they can be very positive), but young workers have a tendency to view their coworkers as friends more than other employees. When friends start getting promoted and managing one another, these relationships can pose problems.

How to identify the ‘friend’

This is a leader that is congenial, well-liked, and has above average soft-skills. They are extremely supportive of their employees and approach management interactions more like coworker relationships.

This individual refrains from having tough or crucial conversations with their employees and fails to acknowledge or manage conflict, frequently avoiding it altogether.

They often don’t manage performance well, and put up with poor results to maintain a positive relationship.

In essence, they focus on being their employees’ friend, rather than their manager or leader. In fact, some of these leaders may be managing previous coworkers or friends of theirs. They may even engage in behaviors that are considered unprofessional for a leader, such as participating in informal social activities, becoming Facebook friends with their subordinates, or gossiping about other employees.

How to develop

This individual doesn’t necessarily need training in soft skills, but does need training on core management principles, such as performance management, feedback, and conflict management.

These will be uncomfortable topics for this individual that you may need to address multiple times. They may also need to be coached on how to balance creating supportive relationships and interactions with their employees with results and getting the job done.

Some will also need to better understand the role of the leader and how to act professionally with their employees.

Supervisory Training

A lot of the time, an employee who has recently been promoted to a supervisor role doesn't always have the resources available to them to be a successful leader. By sending your employee through a supervisor training series, it will teach them the fundamental topics that any manager would need in order to lead in the most effective manner.

In the end, it will not only benefit the employee, but also the company to have a well-skilled supervisor helping operate the organization.

Interested in learning more about training your supervisors?

Submit your contact information and receive instant access to a video highlighting our process and a brochure featuring our courses, delivery methods, and success stories.

Preview Supervisory Training

 

Conflict Resolution Tips Every Manager Should Know

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Working in any organization means working with people that have a variety of opinions, perspectives, and/or work styles. And while organizations who foster such diversity are the strongest type of organizations, it doesn’t always mean everyone will get along 100% of the time.

Conflict Resolution Tips Every Manager Should Know

Managers need to be able to recognize when problems are brewing and feel comfortable and equipped to work with staff members in resolving these issues.

We spoke with Jackie Mueckenheim, Senior Trainer with ERC’s Learning and Development Team, about why it’s important for managers to understand how to resolve problems that occur in the workplace, what are some common problems, and four conflict resolution skills that every manager should know.
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10 Things Successful Supervisors Do Differently

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how to be an effective supervisor how to be a supervisor becoming a supervisor 10 Things Successful Supervisors Do Differently

We've all had good supervisors and bad ones, and chances are we remember the characteristics of both pretty vividly. The good ones probably stick out as people who have made a positive impact on our work lives and who made us more successful in our careers. The bad ones probably showed us the type of supervisors that we don't want to be and the mistakes we don't want to make.

Outstanding supervisors can create a profound ripple effect in their organizations. Their behavior, integrity, and treatment rubs off on others for the better. Not only do supervisors directly impact their team members, but they indirectly affect others. The people they supervise and manage frequently move on to lead others, often in a way that emulates how they were supervised.

Here are ten things that successful supervisors do differently.
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10 Employment Laws that Supervisors Need to Know

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Supervisors and managers have a shared responsibility with HR in making sure that their interactions and relations with employees are compliant with federal and state employment laws. Here are ten (10) of the most important employment laws that supervisors need to be aware of and the major responsibilities that supervisors typically are responsible for in ensuring compliance.

10 Employment Laws that Supervisors Need to Know

1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Purpose:

To prohibit job discrimination in the workplace

Overview:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act covers an employer who has fifteen (15) or more employees and prohibits discrimination against any individual on the bases of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, or any other non-merit based factor. The law also protects individuals from harassment in the workplace.

Supervisor Responsibilities:  

Supervisors must treat all employees and applicants consistently and equally, without regard to their race, color, religion, gender, national origin or any other characteristics that are protected under law. Supervisors are not to base any employment decisions on these protected characteristics, cannot deny opportunities to an individual because of their characteristics, and cannot retaliate against an employee. Supervisors are to treat all employees respectfully and avoid unwanted/unwelcomed behavior that constitutes harassment.
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5 Reasons Leadership Development Fails

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5 Reasons Leadership Development Fails

Plenty of organizations are developing leaders internally and creating their own leadership development programs. Research, however, shows that investing heavily in leadership seminars, workshops, retreats, books, and so on won't necessarily directly create the leaders you want. While these tactics can greatly aid the leadership development process, in the long run, you may still fail to build true leaders.

Here are some common reasons why leadership development efforts fail and don't create the leaders you want, as well suggestions for how you can increase the likelihood that your leadership development efforts build your employees into the leaders that you need and desire.
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The 4 Vital Leadership Skills

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The 4 Vital Leadership Skills

There are numerous critical skills that leaders need to develop—strategic thinking, business acumen, and technical expertise—to name just a few. But, sometimes organizations overlook the importance of a few very critical leadership skills. Here are four vital leadership skills that all leaders must have in order to lead successfully.

1. Communication Skills

Great communication is the hallmark of an exceptional leader because it's at the core of nearly all other leadership skills. Effective communication is necessary for every facet of leadership including building relationships with others, delegating assignments, defining goals and objectives, coaching and giving feedback, praising and criticizing, managing performance, influencing or persuading others, handling conflicts or problems, managing and guiding others through change, and presenting views and information in an honest and balanced manner.
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When Work Gets Personal: Managing Emotional Employees

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When Work Gets Personal: Managing Emotional Employees

Emotions are everywhere in your workplace, and dealing with them at work is unavoidable. Emotions are hardwired biologically and determine most of our behavior. Expecting that the workplace remains emotion-free and that employees leave their feelings at the door is simply unrealistic given our natural tendencies.

Employees take their humanity to work everyday... their happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and laughter—as well as their frustration, disappointment, anger, sadness, and worry. They bring all of themselves to work and this results in emotions at work.
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