The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for December 2009

Give me a break!

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More than three-quarters (76%) of executives said they attend to office duties at least a few times a week while on holiday, according to a recent Robert Half survey.

In addition, almost half (43%) of respondents said they attend to business matters a few times a week when away from office, while one-third (33%) said they conduct business every day.

Executives are finding it increasingly difficult to completely disconnect from their jobs these days, as they often have a wide range of responsibilities and may have limited number of people who can assume their duties while they are away. Advances in technology, while making telecommuting convenient and staying connected to the office 24/7 possible, has certainly made more employees compelled to check their work inbox and “play catch up” while on holiday, either voluntarily or unwillingly.

However, while taking time off provides an opportunity for employees to recharge and come back to work refreshed, those who do not lay the proper groundwork before they leave may return from their breaks as weary as when they left! Robert Half offers the following five tips for taking the “work” out of holidays:

1. Time it right. If possible, schedule a break during a traditionally slower period in your office. For example, the last week of December might be quieter than usual because clients and customers may also be taking time off. Submit holiday requests early to secure your desired dates.

2. Get the word out. Tell clients and customers about your holiday plans and provide the names of team members to contact in your absence. Use your email’s out-of-office function to let people know you are going away.

3. Assign a decision maker. Designate someone whose judgment you trust to make decisions while you are on holiday. Let that person know where key information is kept and how your files are organised.

4. Unplug. While it is tempting to bring your laptop or PDA with you, consider leaving these devices at home unless absolutely necessary. If you bring them, leave them in your room and check them only periodically.

5. Establish office hours. If you must check in with the office, plan ahead. Provide your team with the days and times you will be checking messages so you can avoid interruptions or the feeling that you are “on call.”

It is easy to overlook minor details when on the way out of the office for a holiday or just for some time off. Having a written record of tasks that must be completed prior to departure could help tie up loose ends and make the transition back to work more manageable.

Written by Human Resources

December 17, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Speak up

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The workplace doesn't have to feel like a warzone.

Disagreements or conflicts with co-workers are almost inevitable in the workplace, but how can you speak up and resolve the issue without resorting to third-party interventions?

Joe Moore, managing director of ProActive ReSolutions Inc provides a couple of tips on how you can go handle these difficult scenarios better.

First, Moore says that the first step is to acknowledge that there will be differences in how you and others see things. “We all have to get on with a wide range of people at work – colleagues, customers, suppliers – you won’t like them all – we just need to work together respectfully,” he says.

If the issue is important, you should then let others know how you feel in a “direct and non-threatening” manner. You can do this by creating a basis in which you are looking for collaboration and not merely looking to lock horns with the other party.

During the discussion, talk about the impact the situation has had on you. “Look people in the eye – let the facts and your feelings talk and not your judgement of what happened,” advises Moore.

Then, ask how the situation has affected them as well. At this stage, Moore says any hurtful comments that might be raised are not intended, as we all have gaps between what we say and what we do. It would help to listen more than you talk.

Acknowledge your contribution to the situation, because someone who does not agree with you may not be wrong.

Finally, invite the other person to work with you to make things better by asking questions such as: “What would help us to work together more collaboratively?”

Written by Human Resources

December 8, 2009 at 8:35 pm