People First HR Services

Who are these aliens we call millennials?

Colleen Coates

Call them Millennials, Generation Y or the young adults still living in your basement, this is the generation that is supposedly going to save us Gen X’ers and older.  Yes, this is the generation who received trophies not only for participating in sports, but just for showing up it seemed.  The National Institute of Health reports that 40% of Millennials got so many participation trophies growing up that they believed they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.

Sideways move may be right way up

Colleen Coates

Staying in a job longer than your mind and body are able to manage can have dire consequences. People who were once content become antsy when work grows over time. But when there are no opportunities to be promoted, what’s a restless employee to do?

Making a lateral move by accepting an equivalent role elsewhere might be an option. Depending on the size of the organization, this move might even be made without leaving the organization.

First 60 minutes can make your workday

Colleen Coates

Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Fortunately, this wasn’t meant to be taken literally, but is a colourful metaphor for smart time management: get the most undesirable task out of the way first thing, and the balance of your day will go much smoother. Tackling the least desirable job first may come as a bit of a surprise strategy, especially to slow starters who prefer wading into the workday one toe at a time, but it’s one way to ensure you make the most of your first 60 minutes of your day.

Three questions can change your world

Colleen Coates

Well it’s March already — two months since you made those New Year’s resolutions and maybe two months into your organization’s new fiscal year. Sadly, many of us have either already failed to follow through on what seemed like a reasonable goal (10 pounds should miraculously fall off the hips as long as chocolate does not hit the lips), or even worse, haven’t set any goals (I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m sure I’ll get there).

Conflict intervention, resolution test of effective leadership

Colleen Coates

Being able to snuff out the lit fuse of a workplace conflict before it becomes an explosive situation is a true test of leadership.

Every workplace has its share of conflict. In any setting where people are engaged, committed and passionate about what they do, disagreements are inevitable. It means people care enough to disagree strongly. Change also brings conflict. Therefore, it’s fair to say that the best organizations aren’t those without conflict, but those that know how to deal with conflict in a healthy, constructive way. This is where effective leadership comes in.

Team motivation part of day-to-day business

Colleen Coates

In order to create and sustain team motivation, it needs to be a matter of constant focus.

Think of it like coaching your team for a marathon. This would require training on a daily basis in order to build stamina and reach optimum fitness levels. It’s simply not enough to offer short, infrequent spurts of intense training activity and hope it will take them the distance.

Many leaders make the mistake of thinking team motivation is separate from or somehow less important than conducting day-to-day-business. They may put it on the back burner, believing that there will be plenty of time to work on morale and team building after the bottom line is achieved.

Craig McIntosh of Acrylon Plastics on the power of entrepreneurial thinking

People First

Acrylon Plastics CEO wants managers to act as owners

Craig McIntosh readily admits that he doesn’t accept no for an answer.

“No just means you haven’t heard me clearly, so let me explain myself to you some more,” says the president and CEO of Acrylon Plastics, a Winnipeg-based manufacturer of custom plastic parts for a wide range of applications including buses, farm equipment, windows and doors, fencing, commercial buildings and residential playgrounds.

McIntosh says his proclivity to positivity is a common trait of entrepreneurs. “That’s just part of our nature. We don’t regard boundaries as absolutes but rather as obstacles to be worked around whereas many others see boundaries as absolutes and are stopped by them.”

Mental health key to work productivity

Colleen Coates

It’s that time of the year when many people make New Year’s resolutions that we know probably won’t stick beyond a couple of weeks; however, we go through the same motions each year. For some people, this can lead to unhappy thoughts and unhealthy behaviours as promises to improve are broken and we resort back to our “normal” activities. For some people, these thoughts can become overwhelming and cause severe anxiety and other problematic health issues. In the end, making New Year’s resolutions that we know are going to be broken can lead to disappointment leaving a person feeling unhappy and even depressed which can deteriorate a person’s state of mental health.

Help your firm avoid revolving-door reputation

Colleen Coates
No organization wants to have a revolving-door reputation, gaining notoriety as a place where employees tend to enter and leave quickly.

Having an alarming rate of traffic move through the office has a negative impact on all areas. Losing good people and then training replacements means productivity slows down. Without continuity, operational flow is interrupted.

Morale certainly suffers as seasoned staffers wonder who will be next to go and leave them to pick up the extra work or carry out unfinished projects, or else they avoid making meaningful connections with newcomers lest they too disappear by the end of the quarter. And once word gets out that the company has a retention issue, potential employees stay far away, deciding that the work environment must be toxic.

Keep keen eye on employee attendance

Colleen Coates

Supervisors need full support of manangement, proper training to manage absenteeism

It’s five to nine in the morning when the phone rings. Before the supervisor answers it, they instinctively look around and take a head count. Who’s calling in sick today?

Whether they want to or not, the responsibility for monitoring employee absences falls to immediate supervisors, who are often the only ones aware when an individual is away from work. They have a good understanding of their staff members’ work habits and are often empathetic to any extenuating circumstances surrounding an individual’s absence. This also puts them in a position to identify patterns of absence and flag potential abuses of the system.

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