For many companies, position changes often take effect in the first quarter of the year after the end-of-year review process. Unfortunately, the transition from individual contributor to people manager can sometimes be a difficult one for many new managers. Employees are often thrust into these roles – congratulations, now go be a manager! – without formal training or a playbook to guide their behavior.

In reality, it takes a completely different mindset to successfully move into a management position. Think “me” becomes “we” and everyone’s favorite saying, “there’s no ‘I’ in team.” New managers must be mindful of three considerations that aren’t necessarily part of the job description:

  • the role they play in their employees’ careers
  • their team’s success
  • their impact on the organizational culture

Below we dive into each of these as well as share some practical tips for new managers.

Here are three ways an employee’s role changes once they become a manager, along with tips for new managers.

 

1.  MOVING FROM A SUPPORTING TO A LEADING ROLE IN THE CAREERS OF OTHERS.

Individual contributors are concerned with their own work and development, and rightfully so. Once an employee becomes a people manager, they earn a new title: coach. Instead of focusing only on how they can grow and advance their own career, they are responsible for the development of their team. For those who have never been in a mentoring role, it can be difficult to establish that type of relationship.

Tips for new managers:

  • Discuss career goals early and often. Use regular check ins to focus on development and discuss potential career paths. Your performance management platform should incorporate some sample questions to guide this conversation.
  • Be an active listener. Great mentors are great listeners. All employees want to be heard, not told what to do. Be mindful of the ratio of listening vs. speaking when meeting with individuals.
  • Be an advocate. New managers can earn the trust of their employees by being an advocate for them to others in the organization. Employees need to know that their manager will always be their career champion.

2.  BEING EVALUATED ON YOUR TEAM’S ABILITY TO MEET THEIR GOALS VS. YOUR OWN.

This is another big mindset switch for new managers. Individual contributors set goals for themselves and work through a series of tasks until they reach them. This is not the case for managers. They need to look carefully at the broader business objectives to set team goals, and then help their direct reports set individual goals that align to those. Then, it’s all about helping them adjust their goals along the way to move the needle on those business objectives as best they can.

Tips for new managers:

  • Be proactive. If necessary, ask for clarity around business objectives to ensure you fully understand them. Your employees’ success relies on your interpretation being right.
  • Understand the bigger picture. Take the time upfront to think through ways your team can best impact the company’s goals. Give employees direction on how they can stand out and make their work count. Don’t let them set goals in a silo.
  • Speak up. While it may be uncomfortable at first, help employees modify goals if they’re focusing on the wrong areas or not reaching high enough. At the end of the day, it will only hurt your employees and your team if you’re too afraid to speak up.

3.  ACTIVELY DRIVE TEAM CULTURAL BEHAVIOR AND CHANGE.

When you go from being part of a team to leading a team, you become in charge of the work environment you create for employees. This is something that can blindside new managers, who are used to being a part of the team culture, not controlling it.

Tips for new managers:

  • Set the example. Want your team to gossip less or cut the all-day chatter? Don’t take part in it. Want to create a more positive environment? Think about how often you yourself complain.
  • Lead with reason, not emotion. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but managers must remain objective when possible. It may take practice to find the right balance between being supportive and staying professional.
  • Focus on solutions. When cultural issues arise, between team members or otherwise, it’s important to avoid dwelling on the problem and instead work towards a solution.

It’s impossible not to have a culture.

There’s a natural tension that exists in your culture as you try to create beautiful products and services.  Bringing a group of people together results in a dynamic that can drive your company to the next level or make the entire process unnecessarily difficult.

In the most recent episode of the What Culture Could Be podcast,  I chatted with Blake Garrett, Founder and CEO at Aceable Inc., about existing in the arena of high stakes education and what it takes to maintain a productive culture amidst a time of rapid growth, fund raising, and business acquisition.

Create The Culture You Want

In the end, as the executive either you define the culture or it is defined for you.  Ignoring it is not an option. And if you would take a look at the downstream metrics that show what an impact maximum engagement brings, you’d be wondering why you haven’t taken a more serious and proactive look at your company’s cultural development.

“You can make it engaging, entertaining, and more effective at creating outcomes.” – Blake Garrett

Blake admits that thinking about how to best utilize his people keeps him up at nights.  Appreciating the impact of his team – which he considers his most valuable resource – causes him to look not just at what the team is doing, but also what he can do as the head person to inspire empathy and trust within the company.

He recalls of 5 Dysfunctions of a Team where mistrust is the base of the pyramid of dysfunction.  If you’ve ever been part of a mistrustful team it’s easy to see how that dynamic can gradually erode the trust that helps your team add value to customers.

Conversely, creating an atmosphere where you and your team love to work goes a long way towards retention and productivity, which results in success.  And that is something that will definitely help you sleep better!

The Ebb And Flow Of Great Culture

“Things change,” Blake reminds us, “We’re not the same company we were years ago when we were only fifteen people.”  As a company evolves, jobs and roles change. There’s a natural friction that happens as people try to do their jobs well.

But this doesn’t happen well without conflict management.  It’s not that you or your employees should relish conflict; you should be able to have it productively, respectfully, and empathetically.  It seems as though, left to their own devices, people shy away from conflict (even when resolution is needed) and passive aggressiveness ensues.

Blake reminds us that “A huge part of culture is what’s not said,” and what’s passive can be quickly overlooked.  Culture isn’t something you can just wind up, let go, and hope for the best. It’s as dynamic as the people of which it is comprised.  And any space you’re not filling will be filled with something else.

“Tensions are normal, but if tensions are executed in an effective way they can quickly lead to the degradation of a culture.” – Blake Garrett

Invest in your team.  It’s more cost effective to retain the employees you have than to hire new people.  And without the proper environment, you might only be tossing another employee into the proverbial meat grinder.  It throws you into a seemingly endless loop, while serving to simultaneous stalemate your company’s growth.

You’ve gone to great lengths to seek out and hire the right people.  Keep them.

Creating a great culture – complete with the reality that it should be flexible enough to accommodate for growth – is the best way to circumvent major mistakes on the front end.

Blake recommends a people leader or team that whose focus is maximum employee engagement.  We’re not just talking about “happier and healthier” employees, which is also good, but about driving the efficiency of the team.

Properly positioning this person (or team) in your company structure will allow them to drive engagement and produce down-the-line results.

Clinging To Your Values

It’s easy to begin cutting programs, leading from the podium, and pulling away from engagement when things are rough.

However, adversity will reveal whether or not the values you’ve established are truly part of your culture.

People behave differently when they’re stressed.  At Aceable, Blake and his team use the DiSC Survey, which sheds some light on the variance of an individual with regards to how they behave when their stressed versus when they are relaxed.

Do employees have a sense of solidarity in their environment – something to cling to when things are going wrong?

“It’s impossible not to have a culture.” – Blake Garrett

Your core values define your company.  And nowhere will it be more obvious than to the people who work there.  It’s one thing to say that your most valuable asset is your people; it’s an entirely different thing to stay that course when the situation is dire.

“Looking back at the moments you’ve survived,” Blake says, “strengthens your team and creates a stronger culture.”  Not all businesses survive, but it’s a safe bet to think that the ones who stuck to great value are the ones who stayed the course.

The values you decide upon as a leader – not just the ones you proclaim on a mission statement, but the deeply abiding truths about your character and the quality of your company – will be integrated into your company culture.

Look at leaders like Blake and the team he’s put in place to bring success in a difficult market as an example of where great culture breeds business success.

While employee retention will always be a high priority for HR leaders, it seems today’s trends are moving it to the top of the list. Consider this: 66% of Millennials expect to leave their organization by 2020, according to Glassdoor. Why? Well, a study by Millennial Branding found that 27% of Millennials left their job because their career goals weren’t aligned with their company, and 13% saw a lack of career opportunities.

Does your employee development program need attention? We’re here with a solution.

If you’re looking to learn about an employee development strategy that is truly cutting edge, you won’t want to miss our webinar next week, DROP Everything: Pariveda’s Proven Method for Setting Goals And Accelerating Career Development.

We’re excited to share the (virtual) stage with two HR executives from Pariveda, a consulting firm specializing in technology. What makes Pariveda unique is that its focus on development stems straight from its company mission: to help everyone from employees to clients to partners achieve their fullest potential.

What happens when a company that is passionate about enabling potential takes on employee development? In the case of Pariveda, the HR team creates a sophisticated framework and brought it to life with HighGround.

Pariveda’s award-winning method for development is called DROP, which stands for Deliberate Reflective Ongoing Practice. DROP relies on neuroscientific research on how we build habits and deepen learning. It then combines that with the art of staying on what’s called the learning edge – that is, an individual’s comfort level in between being competent in a task and feeling overwhelmed by it.

Webinar attendees will:

  • Discover Pariveda’s DROP method for turning goals into actionable plans
  • Learn what makes a DROP successful and how to create one for yourself
  • Model success stories from employee development and performance management experts

We’ve partnered with HCI for this webinar, so you can also earn one credit for the SHRM-CP℠ or SHRM-SCP℠ for attending the live online event. Register for the webinar today.

Let’s be real, sometimes holding down the Human Resources department of a business can feel less than magical. Office disputes, payroll issues, and logistical nightmares come with the territory – and sometimes all you can do is laugh.

For those moments where you wish you could disapparate from the chaos, we’ve put together a collection of Harry Potter gifs that will get you through every HR debacle with a smile on your face.


1. When your team completes open enrollment by the deadline.

 

2. When your newest hire asks for a 30% pay increase.

 

3. When your Indeed posting actually generates quality candidates.

 

4. When you’re asked to book flights for your executive team two days before a conference.

 

5. When your therapist asks how work is going.

 

6. When you have to facilitate annual reviews.

 

7. The pep talk you give yourself before an exit interview with the office hothead.

 

8. When everything you warned your CEO about unfolds right before their eyes.

 

9. When you have to remain a neutral third party during an office dispute.

 

10. When your team complains about the offbrand fizzy water in the shared fridge.

 

11. When you’re ineligible for “Employee of the Month” because you’re responsible for updating the award plaque.

 

12. When you’re forced to attend a “working lunch.”

 

13. When half your company contests their remaining vacation days on December 1st.

Haven’t yet settled on the perfect new year’s professional resolution? We’re here to help. Instead of one BIG resolution, we’ve rounded up six little changes that can have a serious impact on your experience at work this year. Try taking on a new one every other month, until you’re working on all of them. Your future self will thank you.

1. January – February: Take your goals seriously. Make 2019 the year that you don’t just set them and forget them. Put together a list of both performance and development goals that will help you make your next career move. Tell your manager, mentor and peers about them so they can help keep you accountable and encourage you along the way.

2. March – April: Be an active part of your company’s culture. Make this the year you make an impact. We’re all busy with our lives outside of work, but we should take every opportunity we can to make our professional experience more meaningful. Something as simple as eating lunch with others in the cafeteria or inviting a co-worker to coffee once a month can go a long way.

3. May – June: Give better feedback. It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern or the CEO, or if you have many direct reports or  none. We all have the power (and responsibility) to help our co-workers get better. By being more intentional and solution-minded in our feedback, we can make the experience better for everyone and encourage others to do the same.

[Related reading: The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback]

4. July – August: Say thank you. Thank your teammates when they make your job easier. Tell your boss when their advice is helpful. Let your IT person know that you appreciate when they help you reset your password (again). Simply communicating appreciation goes a long way, and it can also be contagious.

5. September – October: Find a mentor. It doesn’t matter if it’s your manager, another leader at your organization or someone at a different company altogether. A mentor can guide you through different situations you will face during your career and help you expand your professional network to someday land your dream job.

6. November – December: Cheer for your peers. Do you ever find yourself not congratulating someone on their big achievement or promotion? It happens to the best of us when we’re feeling bad about our own work or if we keep missing our goals. Recognition is critical to every employee’s experience. Make it a point to be positive this year, and you’ll see more of your peers encouraging you as well.

Are your Learning & Development opportunities falling flat?

With millennials rating L&D opportunities as the number one indicator of a good job, it’s more important than ever for companies to dedicate time and resources to developing quality L&D programs.

And though many companies know the impact of Learning and Development on workplace engagement and recruiting efforts, employees across industries are underserved by their L&D options. (Not convinced? Just check out the overall net promoter score for training departments, which sits at a staggering negative eight).

So, how do you harness the power of this sought-after perk?

 

Get Started with YouEarnedIt

Leveling Up Your Learning and Development: Applying a Growth Mindset

Webinar: Tues, Jan 22, 2019 2:00 PM CST

With learned skills dropping to a half-life of 5 years, it’s critical that companies look beyond compliance training to re-imagine their L&D programs as opportunities to arm their teams with the knowledge to tackle changing industries, trends, and tools.

On January 22, join YouEarnedIt and HighGround for a 45-minute webinar that uncovers the secrets behind building impactful Learning and Development programs, including:

  1. Learn the business benefits of applying  a “growth mindset” to your programs
  2. Discover what your L&D program needs to make it more effective
  3. Gain tips for implementing a growth mindset in your L&D efforts
  4. Hear success stories studied by the NeuroLeadership Institute

Speakers: Andee Harris, President of YouEarnedIt/HighGround | Mary Slaughter from the Neuroleadership Institute


Download the Guide

Register for our webinar for SHRM Credit and get behind-the-scenes tips from Learning and Development experts, research-backed data on the effects of successful L&D programs, and actionable steps for building your own.

About YouEarnedIt

YouEarnedIt amplifies company culture through its award-winning employee experience platform that delivers engagement, retention, performance management, and improved business metrics. As a dominant force in the HCM market with an industry-leading retention rate, YouEarnedIt partners with more than 400 global organizations to build high-performance cultures and engaged workforces. Founded in 2013, YouEarnedIt continues to revolutionize the employee experience with its platform based on the science of motivation, rewards, and recognition. To request a demo, visit www.yeistaging.wpengine.com/demo.

Looking for new ways to engage your team with the Kazoo platform? Good news! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite holidays you and your employees can celebrate with our Rewards & Recognition platform.

For each date, we’ve also included a list of feature ideas and suggestions – so whether you’re looking to expand your rewards catalog, swap out your Behavior Bonuses, or create new onboarding redemptions, we’ve got you covered!

January Holidays and Incentives

All month long – New Year’s Resolutions

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for keeping your resolution every week, meditating, or exercising
  • Add fitness wearables and gym memberships to your reward catalog

January 14 – Clean Off Your Desk Day

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for employees who clear off and wipe down their work station

January 17 – Get to Know Your Customers Day

  • Hold a team presentation highlighting one of your customers and their success story

January 24 – Compliment Day

  • Challenge everyone in your company to send a compliment via Kazoo’s recognition tool and read the best ones in a team-wide meeting

January 28 – Data Privacy Day

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for reading company data-protection documentation

February Holidays and Incentives

All month long – National Mentoring Month

  •  Plan a staff volunteer day to mentor children at your local Boys and Girls Club
  • Create a Behavior Bonus for mentoring or volunteering with kids over the weekend

February 11 – Make a Friend Day

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for employees who grab lunch or coffee with a team member they rarely work with

February 17 – Random Act of Kindness Day

  • Encourage your team to use the recognition tool to shine light on their co-workers’ random acts of kindness throughout the year

March Holidays and Incentives

March 1 – World Compliment Day

  • Pair up every employee in your company with a randomizer tool and encourage them to send a compliment to their partner through the recognition tool in Kazoo

March 8 – International Women’s Day

  • Pool points so employees can donate to a women’s organization of your choosing

March 10 – Pack Your Lunch Day

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for employees who bring their own lunch on this day

April Holidays and Incentives

April 3 – National Walking Day

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for employees who take a 15-minute walk on this day

April 22 – Earth Day

  • Pool points so employees can make a contribution to a wildlife fund, conservation charity, or other green initiative
  • Create a Behavior Bonus for employees who carpool or use public transportation to get to work during the month of April

May Holidays and Incentives

May 8 – National Receptionist Day

  • Encourage your employees to send recognition to your company’s office managers or receptionists thanking them for all the work they do

May 15 – International Day of Families

  • Pool points so your employees can group together to sponsor a family in need

June Holidays and Incentives

June 1 – Say Something Nice Day

  • Encourage employees to use the Recognition tool to say something nice to one of their coworkers or managers

June 3 – Leave the Office Early Day

  • Create a reward employees can redeem to take a half day off work

June 14 – National Blood Donor Day

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for employees who donate blood during the month of June

July Holidays and Incentives

July 15 – National Give Something Away Day

  • Choose a charity that receives donations, and create a Behavior Bonus for employees who contribute their own items

August Holidays and Incentives

August 9 – National Book Lovers Day

  • Sponsor a book swap in your office and offer a Behavior Bonus for employees who participate

September Holidays and Incentives

September 5 – International Day of Charity

  • Survey your team for their favorite charities, and add ten of them to your Rewards catalog for future donations

October Holidays and Incentives

October 10 – World Mental Health Day

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for employees who take fifteen minutes to meditate on this day

October 16 – National Boss Day

  • Encourage employees to recognize and reward their managers for all the work they do

November Holidays and Incentives

All month long – Month of Giving

  • Pool points to sponsor a family’s Thanksgiving, or donate to a charity of your company’s choice

November 20 – Computer Security Day

  • Create a Behavior Bonus for employees who spend ten minutes updating their passwords

December Holidays and Incentives

December 13 – National Salesperson Day

  • Encourage your company to recognize and reward your sales team for their contribution to your company’s success

Everywhere you turn, a different expert is declaring the best ways to move your HR program forward in 2019.

There’s definitely something to gain from each of them. After all, thought leaders like Bersin by Deloitte, Forrester, and others have a unique bird’s eye view of how best-in-class businesses operate. Their analysts spend countless hours with successful CHROs and other top HR leaders learning about their performance management practices, and then share those details with their members.

While valuable, it can be overwhelming to make sense of it all.

We get it. And we’re here with a better way to take it all in (and save you some time). We’ve read all the articles and blog posts. We’ve downloaded all the research reports, webinars, and presentations. We’ve seen the stats, deciphered the graphs, and summed up the findings in our newest guide, 5 Best Practices for Engaging Employees in 2019.

What we uncovered is five best practices that can’t be ignored this year. Not trends or strategies or tactics, but best practices. And they’ve earned this distinction because they are proven to make a big impact on your employee’s performance, development, and happiness at work. This year – right now – when it matters most.

Inside our guide we share not only each of the five best practices, but how to take advantage of them in your own organization. We’ve done this because we understand that knowing what to do is half the battle.

For example, it’s great to know that learning and development programs need to be more strategic, and what organizations gain from making changes. But how should you adjust your own program? Is it the format that isn’t working, or is it what you’re teaching employees? We answer that and more.

Download our guide today to learn about the five best practices that can make a difference in your organization.

It’s a new year, and everywhere you turn a new expert is declaring the best ways to move your HR program forward in 2019.

There’s definitely something to gain from each of them. After all, thought leaders like Bersin by Deloitte, Forrester and others have a unique bird’s eye view of how best-in-class businesses operate. Their analysts spend countless hours with successful CHROs and other top HR leaders learning about their performance management practices, and then share those details with their members.

While valuable, it can be overwhelming to make sense of it all.

We get it. And we’re here with a better way to take it all in (and save you some time). We’ve read all the articles and blog posts. We’ve downloaded all the research reports, webinars and presentations. We’ve seen the stats deciphered the graphs and summed up the findings in our newest guide, 5 Best Practices for Engaging Employees in 2019.

What we uncovered is five best practices that can’t be ignored this year. Not trends or strategies or tactics, but best practices. And they’ve earned this distinction because they are proven to make a big impact on your employee’s performance, development and happiness at work. This year – right now – when it matters most.

Inside our guide we share not only each of the five best practices, but how to take advantage of them in your own organization. We’ve done this because we understand that knowing what to do is half the battle.

For example, it’s great to know that learning and development programs need to be more strategic, and what organizations gain from making changes. But how should you adjust your own program? Is it the format that isn’t working, or is it what you’re teaching employees? We answer that and more.

Download our newest guide today to learn about the five best practices that can make a difference in your organization in 2019.

In the world of Westeros, chaos isn’t a pit – it’s a ladder.

And for HR professionals tasked with corralling toxic employees, managing that ladder can seem all but impossible. Betrayal, manipulation, rivalries, and leadership changes can threaten to destroy a company culture and pit your star employees against one another.

To help you deal with the Joffreys of your office, we’ve identified 7 toxic employee types based on Game of Thrones houses and crafted tips for dealing with each.

1. House Targaryen: The loose cannon

The Gods of Valyria flip a coin every time a Targaryen is born, and businesses that bring on these fiery team members should do the same. Greatness or madness are the two fates of these dragon-like employees: they’re the kind of people who either help a company IPO, or burn all progress to the ground through their insane business tactics. The worst part? It’s impossible to spot a loose cannon until it’s too late.

How to deal with Targaryens: Harness their social influence to change negative attitudes in the office. If you can get this natural born leader to champion good behavior, the rest of your employees will follow suit.

2. House Stark: The stoic

These northern-inspired team members are silent killers. Like the Starks, they keep a straight face no matter what level of stress they’re under, failing to ask for help even if it means sabotaging their own efforts. The stoic may either end up quitting once their anger and resentment reaches assassin levels, or their professional failures result in an employment beheading.

How to deal with Starks: Appeal to their sense of duty. Reminding a Stark employee of your company’s core values will reignite their passion and sense of obligation to your business goals.

3. House Greyjoy: The thief

Greyjoy employees have few skills of their own, but are cunning enough to survive by stealing credit from their more resourceful co-workers. These idea thieves are ruthless and will shamelessly take advantage of situations to outshine and overtake leadership. Does it work? Rarely, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.

How to deal with Greyjoys: Sometimes a Greyjoy employee simply needs to walk the plank. High achievers that climb the ranks through intellectual thievery will demoralize the hardest working members of your team, and should be cut from your crew as quickly as possible.

4. House Baratheon: The ego-maniac

Baratheon employees want to be in charge. Not for influence, not for esteem, and rarely even for power. They simply feel leadership status is entitled to them, and they’ll do almost anything to get it. These ego-maniacs want the perks of workplace royalty, but don’t have the temper to deal with the effort that success and adoration truly require.

How to deal with Baratheons: Above all else, Baratheons want to have a good time. If they’re causing trouble, find an area of work they can focus on that brings them true joy. They’ll be out of your hair… at least for a little while.

5. House Tyrell: The manipulator

No two Tyrell employees are the same; they’re master manipulators and character chameleons. These people-savvy strategists will plant the seeds of power early, appearing harmless in group settings, only to come out on top with ample resources, allies, and power. They’re the kind of gossip-driven employees that make themselves indispensable, despite the poison they’ve fed your fellow team members.

How to deal with Tyrells: Take notes. These employees never play the same trick twice, and you’ll need an overwhelming amount of evidence to boot them from your team. Even worse? They may be so beloved at this point that you risk your own reputation by drawing attention to their crimes. If it’s not worth the gamble, try and learn how to play nice.

6. House Arryn: The isolator

Employees that mirror house Arryn will be easy to spot. They eat lunch alone, meddle in other people’s business, and showcase a steely self-importance in team meetings. Despite this loner attitude, they somehow seem to know everyone in your industry. In the end, crossing an Arryn can be a fatal career move: one day you’re minding your own business, the next you’re being thrown out of your workplace moon tower.

How to deal with Arryns: Arryn employees are petty, plain and simple. If you can find the root of their insecurity and drive for office-politics vengeance, you should be able to turn this toxic employee into a smart, high-performing worker.

7. House Lannister: The competitor

Lannister employees encompass every terrible trait of the other noble houses, making them the ultimate competitors. They’re manipulative and ruthless firecrackers that will do whatever it takes to be on top. Uninterested in outside opinions, Lannisters think they know best and will destroy co-workers who get in the way of their goals. You know that team member whose social circle gets smaller and smaller the longer they’re employed? Yeah, that’s a Lannister.

How to deal with Lannisters: Lannister employees are like Greyjoys — if their behavior becomes disruptive enough, it may be time to let them go. The difference? A troublesome Lannister may be worth saving if you can redirect their energies towards group wins rather than solo victories. If they haven’t managed to tear down their coworkers, re-channeling a Lannister’s competitive nature may yield you a new Employee of the Month.

Do you agree with our Westeros-workplace crossovers?

Or better yet, can you think of an employee archetype for the Martells or Tullys? Share your Game of Thrones toxic employee with us on social media and we’ll re-share our favorites!