Snow Day Policy

snoopsnowWho doesn’t love a snow day? The world literally slows down for a bit and kids (and teachers) rejoice.

Do you rejoice as well or are you more stressed on a snow day?  For many, a snow day means a day working from home.  For others, it’s a stressful, agonizing day because their workplace either has no snow day policy, a policy that isn’t clearly defined or they work for someone who doesn’t believe in snow days.

I’ve worked in these situations and as a result, I always dreaded a snow day.  Every morning these thoughts go through your head…Is the office closed or opening late? What will I do with my son while I work? Can I drive my car on the bad roads? What if I wreck? It can become a very stressful and debilitating day for an employee. The workplace needs a clearly defined policy and no matter what, it needs to stick to that policy.

I’ve seen companies with really good snow day policies, for instance, one place had a policy that if the local school was closed then the office was closed.  This is great because not only is it very straightforward, but the employees who are also parents can rest assured they won’t have to deal with child care issues.  Other companies open later to allow traffic to flow and snow to melt, this is also good.  Regardless, have a policy that is clearly defined and be reasonable with your people.  Some people are terrified to drive on snow and ice so be understanding if they ask to work from home.  Some employees can’t wait to be the first ones out on the snow…good for them but don’t compare those employees against those who don’t like to drive, everyone is different.

I believe that if you instill a great culture in the work place every day, you won’t have to worry about snow days…not only are your employees probably happy and content but they will be more apt to actually do work from home and/or brave the elements to get in to the office.  This is what you want most of all, employees who want to work even on a snow day because the workplace culture is so good and trust me, this is what employees want as well.

Here’s a great article: The Adult Snow Day is Dying, and That’s Sad. 

Can You Find Love at Work?

Untitled designIn honor of the Hallmark holiday…let’s talk about love at work.  No, I’m not talking about hooking up with a co-worker! I’m talking about loving your work.

My keychain says “Love What You Do, Do What You Love” simple enough message but not always easy to accomplish. Maybe you don’t love everything about your job, only a few things…that’s ok.  Focus on those things about your job that you do love.

We’ve all been guilty of wasting hours of time griping about those aspects of our job that we absolutely despise.  Bad boss, lazy co-workers, less than stellar work environment, slow internet, inflexible hours, and asinine policies. (I’m sure together we could go on and on with this list.)  It’s not healthy to focus on the negative…even at work.

Take a few minutes and think about what you do love about your job.  Is it rewarding?  Do you have a friend in the office that you look forward to seeing everyday? Do you enjoy creating spreadsheets/reports/widgets/presentations etc?  Is your boss motivating and supportive? Is the office space inspiring and pleasant?  Whatever you love about your job, focus only on those things.  Let the negative thoughts go.

If you cannot find one single thing to love about your job…then it is time to find a new job.  We spend a lot of time at work so it’s very important to find something to love about work.  I know it’s not always easy, I know many people who work in horrific circumstances…but you must either find the silver lining or move on.  Maybe, it’s as simple as moving to a new department at your place of work.  Many times, a change of scenery can help tremendously.

Do you manage people?  Then ask yourself, do your employees love your management style or love the job they are doing?  Maybe as a manager you struggle to find things to love about your job, but you can directly affect whether or not your employees love their job and you.  Managers can be great buffers against negativity and inefficiencies…you just have to be willing to do so.  Here’s a great article on 10 Ways to Show Your Employees You Love Them. 

So when all the flowers, candy and balloons start showing up at the office on Friday…use that as a signal to list the things you love about your current job.  Are the things you love about your job enough to keep you happy and motivated? If the love outweighs the hate then you can probably make the best of the situation.  If not, then while you are in transition to find a new job, focus on those aspects you do love and make sure you take those with you to the next job.

Can’t find one single thing to love at work? Time to start looking for a new job to love.

Coach by Example

coachk

via Business Insider

Sunday, Coach Mike Krzyzewski won his 1,000th basketball game.  Incredible feat.  His after the game interview was pure Coach K, he took zero credit for himself and gave all the credit to his mentors and players. He is truly a class act and it’s no wonder why he’s been so successful as a college basketball coach.  Coach K has always commanded excellence at Duke because he has exemplified excellence as well.  I doubt he has ever asked any of his future or former players to do anything that he has not done himself.  He leads by example and takes incredibly good care of his players.

Since I am a basketball sports junkie, most of my management style comes from being on a team for many years and from coaching.  I believe that in the office just like the sports team, chemistry is essential.  If you have the wrong people on the court or on a project at the same time and they do not work well together…you will not score points on the court or in the office.  The coach/manager has to recognize chemistry and build a team with the best chemistry possible in order to succeed.

It is up to the coach/manager to build a good culture on the team and in the office.  If the coach/manager works hard to live that culture every day, the team will excel.  If the coach/manager treats culture as lip service the team will fail.  I have seen so many sports teams have amazing talent but not be reach their potential because the coach does not have a good policy/culture on discipline. The same is true in the office, if the manager allows a poor culture to be the norm, rock star employees will seek opportunities elsewhere, thus the team will fail.  Coaches and managers cannot ask their people to follow rules or policies that they are not willing to follow themselves.  This is usually a dictatorship management style and trust me, dictatorships get overthrown!

Attitude goes a long way when coaching or managing a team.  If the coach is negative in practice then the team will begin to believe they aren’t very good.  If a manager is negative in staff meetings then his team will stop bringing new ideas to the table for fear of negative feedback from the boss. Positive people live better lives…I am convinced of it.  In that interview, Coach K was positive about everything and everyone.  Duke didn’t play a perfect game but he talked about how they came back and how they fought until the end.  That’s positive speak, not negative.  It’s no wonder he’s the greatest college basketball coach of all time.

Finally, I love a coach with passion.  The coaches who jump up and down on the sideline, meet their players on the field and hug them…those are great coaches.  Everyone loves to be cheered for and recognized for great effort.  Managers can’t forget that its their job to cheer on the team and hand out atta girls/boys. When the team does well, celebrate, every time.  Players/employees want to play for people who are passionate. My good friend, Stephanie Buckley, always says, “be the fountain not the drain.” I love that statement and I think more coaches/managers could learn from it. Managing people does not have to be a drain for the manager or the employees.

What is your favorite management style?

 

 

Best Blog Posts of 2014

Best PostsThe end of the year always brings out the ‘best of’ lists and I thought I would play along as well by listing my top 10 posts of 2014.  This was the first year for my new blog and I have been really pleased with the interaction and engagement.  I have a lot of great posts planned for 2015 and I hope you will join me in the journey.  So, without further ado, here were the top posts for allysontwiggs.com.

1. My Big News (no surprise here, this was my best post of the year in more ways than one!)

2. How to Leave the Perfect Voicemail 

3. 48 Hour in San Francisco

4. My Christmas Wish List

5. What Makes My Life Easier

6. What About Gen X

7. My Life Runs on Evernote

8. Friday Fab Four 11.14.14

9. What to Give Employees for Christmas

10. Working from Coffee Shops

Friday Fab Four

image001The days are getting shorter…I love fall.  Here are four articles I chose just for you this week so find your favorite sweater and take a look.

1. The Bacon Boom was not an Accident–David Sax (this was so interesting and made me hungry for bacon. Shocker!)

2.24 Surprising Things about Parenting in the United States-Joanna Goddard (some of these cracked me up)

3. 10 Reasons Why Superstar Employees Make Lousy Managers–Dan McCarthy (I’ve witnessed this a few times)

4. 3 Time-Wasting Social Media Habits You Need to Stop Immediately–Laura Roeder (Guilty!)

The Friday Fab Four

Much like you, I read a lot of great articles each week.  On Fridays, I will post the top four I found interesting.

**Helpful Tip: Tired of all the ads and clutter in articles online? Use Readability to turn any webpage into a clean view.

1. Levar Burton is Bringing Back Reading Rainbow via KickStarter–Don Solomon

2. How to Deal with Employee Burnout–Jacob Shriar

3. How YouTube and Internet Journalism Destroyed Tom Cruise...–Amy Nicholson

4. Do Your Own Thing: The Battle of Internal vs External Motivation–Sean Smith