How to Get Employees Ready for the Fall Season

It’s not uncommon for employees to feel stressed when heading into a new season. Coming down off the high of a sunny vacation and back to an inbox filled with questions and responsibilities may overwhelm some people and reduce or even negate the benefits of the time off. As an employer, you can do a few things to help staff members get ready for the new season.

Encourage Time Management

Reduce stress this season by using time management strategies. Draw up a list and include everything employees should take care of before they leave. Once they return, itemize responsibilities by order of importance. Providing a checklist often makes a workload seem lighter and may encourage an employee to be more productive.

Offer Training and Development

Workers who feel like they’re in a slump may need a little encouragement to stay positive and productive. Consider a professional development day to provide employees with training and learning opportunities. This helps refocus their attention in a structured and positive way.

Ease Financial Burdens

Now that a new season begins, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to review the company options for savings, including retirement plans. Host a financial wellness workshop or offer a budget-planning seminar, particularly useful exercises given that the winter holidays are just around the corner. Be sure to stay on top of employee evaluations and provide raises and bonuses where they’re merited.

 

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3 Signs It’s Time to Take a Mental Health Day

The stigma that surrounds mental health is beginning to fade, and employers are encouraging staff to make use of mental health days when stress becomes too much to handle. Even with this encouragement, many employees are unsure of when and how to take this time off. As the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety notes, recognizing the signs of workplace stress is key to determining when it might be time to take a mental health day, but there are several other signs that you might be in need of a break.

1. You’re Distracted by Events in Your Personal Life

Whether you’re going through a separation or divorce, lacking quality time with your children, or simply behind on home maintenance or paying bills, you might find that stress in the home is distracting you from performing well at work. Requesting a mental health day to catch up on your personal life or spend time with your family may be exactly what you need to regain your focus at work and reduce your anxiety and stress levels.

2. You’re Feeling Completely Exhausted

If you’re completely rundown and feeling unable to concentrate at work or at home, it’s a good sign that you’re in need of a “me day.” Whether you schedule a day off in advance or call into work to request an emergency mental health day, it’s important to take some time to recharge your batteries. Try to avoid self-isolating activities like binge-watching TV, which paradoxically can deplete your body and mind further. It’s best to focus on depression and anxiety-reducing activities like spending time with friends and family, dining out or visiting a zoo or museum.

3. You Need Time to Care for Yourself

If you need to visit a doctor or a therapist, taking time off work might be necessary. Whether you’re dealing with medication changes, a long-term illness or want to talk with your therapist, it’s important to request a mental health day. Caring for your health is vital to work performance, so time off in these instances is absolutely necessary.

How to Request a Mental Health Day

If you’re working for a company that encourages employees to care for their mental health, simply asking your employer for time off should suffice. It’s your choice if you want to divulge the reason to your employer or if you’d prefer to ask for the day off without sharing the details. If the company you work for hasn’t made it clear that taking time off to preserve your mental health is an option, you may prefer to use a sick day and avoid offering further explanation.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1489832/

https://www.ccohs.ca/Oshanswers/psychosocial/stress.html

https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/your-brain-binge-watching-tv

L’équilibre travail/vie privée idéal : comment l’obtenir et pourquoi?

La plupart des travailleurs professionnels s’efforcent de trouver un bon équilibre travail/vie privée et un juste milieu où ils se sentent productifs, mais pas débordés. C’est important de trouver ce juste milieu pour des raisons personnelles et professionnelles.

Tout le monde a des obligations en dehors du travail dans sa famille et sa communauté, et être capable de respecter ces obligations est au cœur des raisons pour lesquelles un équilibre travail/vie privée est important. Les gens ont besoin d’assez de temps à consacrer à leur famille et leurs amis pour récupérer et se sentir rajeunis.

Comme le fait remarquer Inc., l’équilibre travail/vie privée favorise aussi la productivité à long terme et prévient l’épuisement professionnel. Le roulement du personnel et le recrutement demandent un temps précieux, de l’argent et des ressources, donc garder les employés heureux et bien équilibrés est essentiel pour les affaires.

Vous pouvez prendre plusieurs mesures stratégiques pour vous aider à optimiser votre équilibre travail/vie privée.

1. Prévoyez des pauses dans votre horaire.

Cela peut vous sembler étrange, mais prévoir des pauses dans votre calendrier est l’une des meilleures façons de vous assurer que vous avez suffisamment de temps d’arrêt pendant la journée. Prévoyez du temps pour dîner, vous entraîner ou pour partir en promenade à l’air frais. Si vous devez rater une activité en temps d’arrêt en raison d’une réunion ou d’un événement imprévu, assurez-vous de la remplacer par une autre ou de la reporter.

2. Faites de l’exercice chaque jour.

Prendre du temps pour faire de l’exercice peut être difficile, mais quand vous vous entraînez, vous améliorez votre santé, votre humeur et votre productivité. Comme le fait remarquer Scientific American, des recherches montrent que l’activité physique aiguise aussi l’esprit. Commencez par réfléchir à ce qui est le plus logique pour vos intérêts et votre personnalité, que ce soit de la marche tôt le matin, l’entraînement au gym après le travail ou de la course extérieure pendant votre heure de dîner. Toutes ces activités sont une excellente façon de vous détendre et faire le plein d’énergie.

3. Oubliez le travail pendant les fins de semaine et les vacances.

Si les fins de semaine et les journées de travail se confondent, il est temps pour du changement. Assurez-vous de faire des activités comme jardiner, cuisiner et aller à des concerts, ou faites ce que vous aimez. Pour votre bien-être global, vous devez déconnecter du travail et être présent pour les gens avec qui vous passez du temps. Si déconnecter n’est vraiment pas une option, limitez-vous à vérifier vos courriels ou vos messages au début ou à la fin de la journée.

L’équilibre travail/vie privée idéal diffère d’une personne à l’autre, mais en trouvant le vôtre, vous pouvez améliorer votre productivité au travail, votre santé globale et votre bonheur.

Références :

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/how-work-life-balance-can-keep-your-employees-happy-and-your-business-healthy.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-you-think-better-after-walk-exercise/

Your Best Work-Life Balance: Why and How to Make It Happen

Most working professionals strive for a good work-life balance and a happy medium where they feel productive but not overworked. It’s an important thing to do for both personal and professional reasons.

Everyone has roles outside of work with their families and communities, and being able to maintain these non-work roles is at the heart of why a work-life balance is so critical. People need enough time to spend with their families and friends to recharge and feel rejuvenated.

As Inc. notes, work-life balance also boosts long-term productivity and prevents burnout. Turnover and recruitment uses up valuable time, money and resources, so keeping current employees happy and feeling balanced is crucial for business.

There are several actionable strategies that can help you optimize your work-life balance.

1. Build downtime into your schedule

It might sound odd, but penciling in breaks on your calendar is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting enough downtime during the day. Consider scheduling time for lunch, working out or taking a walk in the fresh air. If you have to miss a downtime activity because of an unexpected meeting or event, make sure you replace it with another one or reschedule it.

2. Exercise daily

Making time for exercise can be difficult, but when you schedule workouts, you can improve your health, mood and productivity. As Scientific American notes, research shows that physical activity also sharpens the mind. Start by thinking about what makes the most sense for your interests and personality — whether it’s early morning walks, gym trips after work or an outdoor run during your lunch hour. All of these are a great way to unwind and replenish your energy.

3. Unplug during weekends and vacations

If weekends blur into workdays, it’s time for a change. Make sure you’re allowing yourself time to participate in activities such as gardening, cooking, going to concerts or whatever you enjoy. It’s important for your overall well-being to disconnect and be present for the people you’re spending time with. If unplugging really isn’t an option, limit yourself to checking email or messages at the beginning or end of the day.

What’s ideal for a work-life balance is different for everyone, but when you find yours, it can help improve your productivity at work and overall health and happiness.

References:

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/how-work-life-balance-can-keep-your-employees-happy-and-your-business-healthy.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-you-think-better-after-walk-exercise/

Essentials for Better Facility Management

If you’re an office or facility manager, or if your position combines those roles, the Staples Workplace Employee Survey has good news for you. A clear majority of Canadian employees:

  • Have at least some understanding of what you do
  • Expect to interact with you for supplies, maintenance and other kinds of help and information
  • Believe that your role is crucial to growing a business and that appropriate resources should be invested in it

In other words, office and facility management enjoys a largely positive image, and much of the modern workplace knows at least something of the value quality personnel provide in this role. If you want to capitalize on that positivity to help deliver even better value for your company and colleagues, keep these few essentials top-of-mind.

1. Invest In Facilities Management Software

A core part of office and facilities management is maintaining an accurate inventory and keeping close track of a wide variety of scheduling and maintenance tasks. You can increase the efficiency of your data management and reduce the amount of time you spend on manual entry by investing in excellent facilities management software. This, in turn, can position you to take the best advantage of techniques like benchmarking, which the IFMA has identified as an untapped resource for facilities management.

2. Work Proactively with Management

Co-workers may understand the value of what you do, but that doesn’t always mean that management gets it. Increase visibility at the top level of your company by working closely with managers and taking a proactive stance. Stay up to date on solutions like automated building management systems and be able to offer an informed take on whether that kind of technology is a good fit for your workplace. Be ahead of the curve on building a sustainable and energy-efficient workplace. In budget season, be aware of and suggest areas where you can streamline.

3. Go Beyond the Short Term

Planning for the long term isn’t easy in our fast-paced, technological environment. We’ve even seen it argued in the pages of Forbes that the multi-year strategic plan is dead. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to only tackling the most immediate crisis. Part of helping your company maintain agility and adaptability is taking time in your schedule to manage the important items as well as the urgent ones.

References:

https://technologyadvice.com/facilities-management-software/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamvanderbloemen/2016/10/23/strategic-planning-is-dead-heres-two-new-ways-to-face-the-future/#148f84902f5b

Amazing Lessons in Business Leadership from Emmy-Nominated Shows

In a recent leadership report conducted by Robert Half Management Resources, three qualities came out as clear winners among workers as being most desirable in a business leader:

  • Integrity led the survey by a wide margin. As Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half put it: “Leaders who act with integrity and treat people well help maximize the contributions of their employees and build goodwill for their organization.”
  • Fairness was nearly as important. The Balance notes that managers who don’t play favorites and who model consistent rules and treat their workers the way they themselves would like to be treated have a far easier time attracting and retaining the best talent.
  • Decisiveness came in a very close third. As Industry Week comments, nobody loses authority more quickly than a decision-maker who can’t decide.

One way to get a better understanding of how these qualities work is to examine lessons from the stories we tell. As the Emmy Awards celebrate the best in television they also provide us a lens for looking at key leadership strengths.

Integrity: Queen Elizabeth II from The Crown

This sprawling bio-drama about the life of Queen Elizabeth II holds powerful leadership lessons. One of them is the queen’s use of candor and integrity — on occasion to the point of being mistaken for blunt or rude — as a source of credibility. Her openness and willingness to directly address sensitive issues make key turning points that help cement her legacy.

Fairness: Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen is one of the most indelible characters from this famous epic fantasy show. Originally a pawn in a ruthless succession conflict, she becomes a major player by the simple application of fairness in her rule, a quality many competitors sorely lack. Her most justly famous quote is: “I will answer injustice with justice.”

Decisiveness: Nancy from Stranger Things

The supernatural retro-’80s thriller lives up to its name through other-worldly threats, government conspiracies and psychic powers, but it’s all kept down to earth by some very brave and human characters. One of the best is Nancy, a shy high school sophomore in the first season who becomes a brave, decisive leader by the second. She’s the character in the series who takes charge of her own life, faces head-on the things that frighten her most and carries out the kind of decisive action leadership demands.

References:

Robert Half Management Resources: http://rh-us.mediaroom.com/2016-09-22-What-Is-The-Most-Important-Leadership-Attribute

The Balance: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/fairness-is-good-management-2275883

Industry Week: https://www.industryweek.com/leadership/meeting-hell-when-decision-makers-can-t-decide

Variety: https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/emmys-nominations-list-2018-1202871084/

Solutions in Managing Multiple Projects at the Same Time

It pays off to be skilled at the art of juggling multiple tasks at the same time. It is not only about being able to make deadlines, but ensuring every task is being executed according to plan and without problems. You can tackle the stress and anxiety if you remain proactive and control situations rather than react to them. A proactive manager is one who knows the secrets of leading more than one team and following multiple schedules at the same time. Here are several solutions that can assist you.

Have Everything Planned Out

The plan is the backbone of the project and it should cover every stage from inception to completion. When you are preparing for the project, you have meetings with the executives and brainstorming sessions with your team to figure out which approach you are going to take. After the details of the project have been finalized and put on Xerox paper, you can put it to work.

Only a solid plan can help you maintain your composure with so many things happening around you at the same time. With everything organized and in place, it becomes easier to align the project outcomes with the goals of the business. A good plan not only helps the manager identify any risks associated with it, but also makes sure that all of the team members and resources are being utilized efficiently.

Delegate Tasks Effectively

A project manager can only do so much on their own, which is why having a great team is important. If project tasks are delegated to every member effectively, then the manager can better utilize their own time. By giving each employee their own responsibility, you not only save time but also make them feel like they are a valuable part of the business. In addition, if employees have the freedom to be creative and apply their talents to the project, they have a higher chance of remaining with your team. If the tasks have been divided equally among the team members, you can focus on dealing with developing the strategy for other ongoing projects in the business.

Assign Priorities

Successful management requires being able to prioritize tasks so that all projects remain on schedule. This means you should spend more time doing things that add value to the business, therapeutic activities like decorating the office with Command™, rather than simply replying to emails and reading articles. The tasks should be prioritized according to how urgent they are so that you and your team can address them one by one. You can also map out a timeline for all the tasks related to a project so that nothing goes unnoticed and you remain ahead of schedule.

It is not mandatory for a business to take on multiple projects at the same time, but when the occasion arises, it is best to be prepared for it. Multitasking is the essence of management and you can use many tools to help you keep up with the progress of each project. By utilizing your time efficiently and fully investing in the capabilities of your team members, you can better manage multiple projects to ensure their successful completion.

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