6 traits of a fair leader

A fair leader starts with communication, transparency and a willingness to learn.

A fair leader starts with communication, transparency and a willingness to learn.

Being a leader is never an easy job. You are the person workers turn to when something is right, wrong, and anywhere in between. A leader is expected to be available all the time, ready to go and solve anything thrown their way. It can be a stressful position, and some ideals can fall to the wayside.

Keep these six tips in mind during your next long day or Monday morning to remain an effective, great leader. Continue reading

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The real risk of employee multitasking

Your focus during the day can affect more than just your work flow.

Your focus during the day can affect more than just your work flow.

Multitasking has previously been seen as an excellent skill set for job applicants, promotion candidates and management leadership. However, recent data suggests multitasking may not be as great as previously thought for employee development.

According to Entrepreneur, multitasking can actually damage your brain and inhibit you from accomplishing tasks in an efficient manner. Recent findings from Stanford University indicate that multitasking is less productive than doing one thing at a time, even for those that believe it is their “special skill.” Continue reading

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4 tips for better employee communication

Employee communication can make or break a workplace environment. Peer-to-peer communication can spur employee engagement, increase worker satisfaction and bring more successful productivity.

What type of communication style is best for your workers?

What type of communication style is best for your workers?

Implement the following four tips into your next meeting, desk-side chat or presentation for more effective communication:

  • Encourage trust: Promoting honesty among workers can strengthen relationships and cause employees to want to remain within the company. If feedback is encouraged, and workers trust it will be heard, productivity can only grow.
  • Prioritize relationship building: According to Forbes, peer relationships can be the driving force behind employees doing more than their fair share of work. Relationships can create collaboration opportunities, cause deadlines to be met and improve office culture.
  • Say something before it’s too late: If there is a problem, don’t wait to address it. This can cause animosity between workers and create a toxic workspace. Instead, face issues head-on and encourage others to do so also. Make sure directions are made clear before leaving a meeting, office changes are known or employees are completely trained before beginning a new task.
  • Understand your communication style and what your office needs: Do your employees prefer speaking over email? What about phone conversations versus in-person communication? Understanding what modes of communication best foster worker diligence and happiness can create a better workspace.

Mastery  has a range of available training courses for supervisor training and employee development techniques. With over 200 courses on topics such as effective listening, nonverbal communication and other fundamental-type skills, we are your one-stop shop for all your training needs.

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Are you in accordance with OSHA fire safety guidelines?

Do your employees understand your fire safety prevention plan?

Do your employees understand your fire safety prevention plan?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, explosions and fires were responsible for 148 workplace deaths in 2013, 3.4 percent of all fatal occupation injuries for the year.

OSHA standards require employees to have adequate fire safety equipment and training. It is not enough to just have a fire extinguisher, employees must know how to use it. Likewise, evacuation routes must be explained in the event of an emergency, not just written somewhere. Not all workplaces require fire extinguishers on site, as is with an emergency action plan.

All workplaces must have enough exits for the amount of people who work there. Considerations that should be taken into account include:

  • Fire protection available
  • Number of people at risk for exposure
  • Type of building structure
  • Type of industry and known hazards within that industry including chemical, mechanical and construction.

All exit ways must remain open and free of clutter at all times. If your company requires an emergency action plan it must:

  • Account for all evacuated employees
  • Describe routes for workers to use and procedures to follow
  • Ensure emergency training is performed and known
  • Include preferred means of alerting employees to fire emergency
  • Provide an employee alarm system throughout the workplace
  • Require an alarm system that uses both voice activation and sound signals
  • Require review of the safety plan whenever a new hire is brought on or the plan is changed.

For other small business safety information, check out the OSHA handbook here. Mastery has many fire safety training courses ranging from fire extinguisher response to prevention of industrial fires and chemical hazards.

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5 better ways to accept workplace feedback

Ace your next office critique with five easy to remember tips.

Ace your next office critique with five easy to remember tips.

Receiving feedback at work is vital to the employer-employee relationship. Nobody likes their work to be critiqued, especially if it’s negative. But knowing and understanding mistakes can create a better work ethic and overall workplace environment.

If you have recently been given work feedback or have a performance review coming up, remember these five tips before responding to your boss.

  • Ask questions: Let your boss speak first and listen to what he or she has to say. At the end of each different critique, don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions or what you can do to improve. If a mistake you made is pointed out, chances are your boss will want it fixed or changed the next time a task is completed.
  • Be receptive to new ideas or possible changes: Change isn’t always easy. Displaying a willingness to change is key to receiving feedback in the future. According to author B.J Gallagher, being defensive can be seen as an uncooperative trait furthering alienating you from company values.
  • Listen before you speak: Try not to interrupt whoever is critiquing you. Chances are, you will be given time at the end of the meeting to respond.
  • Remain calm: Nobody is perfect. If you made a mistake, own up to it and explain how you will change your work methods the next time. Most of the time, critiques are given to foster change, not to hinder work developments and output.
  • Understand if the feedback was negative or positive: This may seem simple, but understanding if you did something right or wrong is extremely important when being critiqued. Even if your work is being praised, be aware of small hints or proposed suggestions.

Employee development can be a great way to make improvements based on feedback, for a list of courses check out our website.

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