Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
Some workplaces have extensive supervisory skills programs where people are taught effective and respectful ways to manage their workforce. Many do not, or the new supervisor is put into her position and the training comes months later…or sporadically. Just because people are technically good at their job doesn’t mean they are good at managing people. Some people, not knowing any better, have learned from other bosses, supervisory skills that would be nothing short of bullying. We would think that any sane, reasonable person would know that bullying employees is not the way to go, however, that’s not always the case. And the bullying boss isn’t automatically a bully by nature (maybe they are, maybe they’re not). But people can learn and it might surprise us to find out how quickly people can learn to be better – and effective – at managing people, without being anywhere near a bully.
Even if there’s no time for a formal training process - or it’s coming later – it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to help a new supervisor with some basics about supervising employees. If you’ve observed some inappropriate behaviour, these would be good to bring up at the first meeting. But you can also just start by laying out perhaps five principles when it comes to managing people. And if you do a good job, you don’t need to go to a text book – you can come up with these principles from what you know to be true.
“I’m sorry we haven’t had time to help you with your supervisory skills. You got this job for a number of reasons and so I’d like to help you with some effective ways to supervise employees. These are 5 principles I have learned to deal with people fairly and effectively. First, treat people the way you want to be treated. It might sound trite, but if you ask yourself, “would I want someone speaking to me that way?” it puts things into perspective quickly. Second, don’t lash out at someone, even if you want to. If something has gone wrong, try to be calm so you can discuss it properly. When you get angry at someone, their back will usually go up and they won’t hear a lot. Third, when giving instructions, ask the person to explain back to you what you said to them. Even between two people, in simple conversations, things can get mixed up. You’ll either get to say, “great” or you get to correct or explain things more clearly. Fourth, if there’s a dispute, get all the facts before coming to a conclusion. I’m not talking about a CSI investigation. You might just need to ask one other person one question…or there can be a bit more. Fifth, don’t assume someone’s lying because they tell you a different truth from what you know. Find out where the person is coming from and half the time – or more – you’ll see that there has been a misunderstanding that can easily be corrected. These are just a few points I want to make, and with them, let’s talk about some things I’ve observed and how I can help you be more effective as a supervisor…”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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