Slap in the Face Recognition
by Justin Tyme
William came back from vacation. He walked into the office and was told that there was an envelope and a silver colored cardboard box on the safe for him. He opened the envelope. It was a form letter congratulating him on thirty years of service. In the box was an award pin in honor of his thirty years. William's supervisor just dropped everything off on his way through town, while William was on vacation. No personal effort was ever made to thank William for his dedication. No handshake. No phone call. Not even an email.
William took the envelope and box and threw them in the trunk of his car where they remain. I asked him why he didn't take them out. He responded, "I don't even want to touch them. They make me feel dirty." William is not a problem employee. He knows his job and has never been counseled. Each day he comes to work and does his job without supervision. His supervisor works in an office over one hundred miles away. Most companies would be thrilled to have employees that take no supervision. Many companies recognize that motivated employees are an important part of the work team. Some companies show care and concern for their employees. Some have too many cracks that let recognition opportunities slip through.
The company William works for is not a small company. It's a national company. You would recognize the name. Recognition can be one of the easiest things to accomplish. It lets people know that their work is appreciated. Lack of appreciation is a slap in the face.
William says, "Just when I think I can't think any less of the company and management, they come up with something new and my opinion is lowered again." William didn't have long to wait - just a couple of months.
On a Wednesday, William reported to work and was told to call about a large luncheon in a nearby city to honor all employees with thirty years of service. The president of the company was even flying in to speak and honor those dedicated employees. People were coming from hundreds and thousands of miles away. Nice. Right? The event obviously took planning and coordination. William was told on Wednesday afternoon. The big deal special luncheon was on Friday, less than two days notice. Somehow, William was overlooked . . . again.
William tried to act like the events didn't bother him and that he wouldn't have gone even with more notice. In reality, he was depressed. "In my mind I saw the silver package in my trunk and just kept thinking about wasting thirty years of my life," he confessed.
There is no happy ending to this story. As a matter of fact it got worse. Adding insult to injury, later that day William didn't collect enough from a sale and finished up with a shortage at the till . . . which he had to pay.
In a USA Today article, A snub really does feel like a kick in the gut, writer Maggie Fox says, "The feeling is familiar to anyone who has been passed over in picking teams or snubbed at a party - a sickening, almost painful feeling in the stomach." Maggie was writing about social distress. A study has been done with functional magnetic imaging that proves that the brain reacts to rejection and snubbing in the same way it reacts to physical pain. The study was published in the October 2003 issue of Science.
"A social snub and a big-toe stub can generate a similar response in the brain, suggesting emotional and physical pain are more closely related than was previously thought."
-- Anna Salleh ABC Science Online
While no one in today's business world condones physical violence, it's amazing what stress and pain can be inflicted by managers who are ill-equipped, ill-advised and ill-prepared to deal with social interactions and situations in the workplace. William should have been recognized for his thirty years of service. He wasn't. He should have received positive reinforcement for his dedicated work. He didn't. A few kind words could have soothed hurt feelings. Kind words never came. Recognition motivates. Thoughtlessness produces just the opposite affect.
Time Management Training Skills, Suggestions and Tips
By Justin Tyme
We all have the same amount of time to work with, so how come some people can accomplish so much more than others? It's not the amount of time we have that's important, it's the effective use of time that matters. Here are some excellent suggestions and tips for time managment that can leverage your time and make you more productive.
- Recognize from the beginning that you will probably have to make minor changes in your project times and schedules from time to time.
- Provide for more time than you think you will need. This makes your schedule flexible enough to allow for the unexpected.
- Plan for the time in between meetings. This is valuable time, yet probably the easiest to waste. Get into the habit of using it productively.
- Do not schedule time for certain things, such as reading your mail, when you know it is impractical. We all have a time of the day when we aren't likely to accomplish much.
- Plan for a good balance of activities. Social life has many aspects that are all important to success.
- Accomplish a few vital goals rather than many trivial ones.
- Break large, overwhelming goals down into smaller, more attainable tasks.
- Carry a Smartphone, pocket planner or datebook and use it.
- Keep a calendar. Mark all important dates (for example, dinner with your spouse or meeting with associates) as soon as you get them.
- Keep a visible list of "Things to Do" and mark them off as completed.
- Do unpleasant tasks first.
- Neatness makes the job much easier.
- Allow time for yourself to relax and do nothing.
- Read a book or watch a video on time management and effective use of time.
- Establish clear priorities for what you want to get done. Identify tasks and activities that are of highest priority and eliminate those of low priority.
- Every day make a list of what you have to do tomorrow. Prioritize the list and plan to do the most important tasks first.
- Block out a specific time slot each day to do your priority tasks. Concentrate fully during this time.
- Figure out when you work most efficiently. Do priority tasks then.
- Leave time in your schedule for emergencies. Don't have too many priority tasks in one day. Be realistic.
- Ask yourself, "What am I doing that someone else could do?" Delegate!
- Try to do more than one thing at once. For example, do errands on your lunch hour, shop at a location where you can do several errands in one place. Don't schedule too many things, so that you have to rush during your lunch time. This can add more stress and slow you down.
- See where you can build in extra time. Getting up a bit earlier is one way, but only if you still get enough rest for your body. Identify pockets of time that are wasted and see if you can use them more efficiently.
- Throw things out immediately (mail, newspapers, trade publications) to reduce clutter and the need to reorganize.
- As often as possible, provide written instructions to subordinates. This can prevent numerous interruptions-by both of you.
- Do more than your fair share when you are less stressed. Then, you are much more likely to get help during those times you need it. Remember, though, you have to ask for help to get it.
- Divide seemingly overwhelming tasks into small increments, and attack them one at a time.
- Do one task each day that you don't like to do. It's good discipline and it will help you through the tough times.
- Discuss time management with your boss and with your co-workers, and determine what you can do as individuals and as a team to use time more effectively.
- Purge your hard copy files annually -- your hard disk monthly if possible.
- Stand up while on the telephone. Your conversations will be shorter.
- Don't try to over control others. It's frustrating for them and time-consuming for you.
- Make a "worry" list. These events seldom materialize and you won't spend so much time worrying in the future once you realize this.
- If you find it difficult to get any quiet time, try to arrive at the office 20 minutes before anyone else.
- Set up a tickler file on your computer to automatically remind you of important projects and appointments.
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