LEADERSHIP Fall 2013
Salvage a Troubled Business pp. 6-7 Avoid Discrimination When Hiring pg. 10
Time W Your Wo asters From rkday Deal wit h Dead line Stre ss Learn H Resume ow to Prepare for an In a ternal J ob
leadership Fall 2013
A word from your Account Management Team... In this year’s Fall issue of LEADERSHIP we aim to help you be more efficient than ever with articles that focus on team building, time management, and tools to help your business in troubled times. With these skills at your fingertips it will be a piece of cake to charge ahead and help your team finish the year on top! We know that being a supervisor or manager is not easy. If you run into any un-wanted obstacles this quarter, either in your profesional or personal life, MINES can help. Call us 24/7 if you need a little guidance, consultation, or just need to talk.
MINES & Associates 10367 West Centennial Road Littleton, Colorado 80127 800.873.7138 www.MINESandAssociates.com
. . . . . . . . C redits . . . . . . . Life Advantages - Author Delvina Mirtemadi ©2013 Removing Time Wasters from Your Work Life pg. 4 Krames Staywell Dealing With Deadline Stress pg. 5 LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell ©2013
– The Account Management Team
Salvaging a Troubled Business pp. 6-7 Wellness Library Health Ink and Vitality Communications ©2013 Deskercise for the Office Bound pg. 8
Livestrong.com Team Building Exercises for Adults pg. 9
How to Prepare a Resume for an Internal Job pg. 11 www.eeoc.gov Avoid Disability Discrimination When Hiring New Employees pg. 10
Perspectives on Organizational Wellness
From Wellness to Wellbeing
Tune in to discuss what other organizations are doing to improve their members’ health.
nal Welln ess
Fitness and You
Our 2013 webinar series is focused on how you can create a wellness-driven workforce. This year, our BizPsych team will be hosting four panel-discussion webinars regarding different aspects of wellness. We are inviting our clients, partners, and key stake-holders to share their experiences, perspectives, and highlight how their program sets them apart from other wellness programs. To receive updates visit: MINESandAssociates.com/webinar
Broadcast 1: Physical Wellness April 17th 10am - 11am MST
This discussion encompasses nutrition, physical fitness, stress, and how to avoid unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and drugs.
Broadcast 2: Occupational Wellness July 17th 10am - 11am MST
Explore the importance and impact of having a culture that promotes having a positive attitude in the workplace. Discover strategies to build a culture that embraces meaningful recognition, practices the art of appreciation and offers ways to support and enrich career development.
Broadcast 3: Emotional Wellness September 18th 10am - 11am MST
How good are you at being aware of your emotions, accepting your feelings or managing your emotions? Relationships, stress, self-esteem, and life outlook are all factors that play a role in managing our relationship with ourselves and with others in our personal and professional lives. In this session, we will explore ways to enhance your emotional well being.
Broadcast 4: From Wellness to Wellbeing November 20th 10am - 11am MST
How does wellbeing differ from wellness? We’ll explore a few new trends in wellness. You may even be able to create a huge shift in the overall health of your organization after this! Come learn how to take a pulse on your organization’s current level of wellness and develop a plan to move it to optimal levels of wellbeing.
Think you have something to contribute to one of these webinars? We’d love to hear from you. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you’d like to share.
www.MINESandAssociates.com | 800.873.7138
Removing Time Wasters from Your Work Life Wasting time can be good or bad. Sometimes we need to waste a little time to let go of the stress of the day. But at work, we may tend to waste time and not complete the tasks we really need to accomplish. Being able to recognize common time wasters is a key to avoiding them.
Common, self-generated time wasters are: 1. Not Planning Ahead: When we don’t plan out goals or objectives, we can be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task in front of us. In addition, when we start off on a project before planning, we can easily encounter roadblocks that we could’ve seen had we thought ahead. Create a list of priorities on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Keep it somewhere you can routinely see. 2. Being Disorganized: You create more work for yourself when you don’t know where things are. Ask yourself if you can easily find work-related items; if not, rearrange your workspace so you can work more efficiently. Try to keep separate areas for works in progress and accomplished projects. This way you can better prioritize your tasks. 3. Procrastinating: We can waste a lot of time thinking about and putting off things that need to get done. Oftentimes, a task seems so overwhelming, that we don’t know where to start. When this happens, break a big project into a series of smaller tasks, and give yourself a deadline. Reward yourself when you accomplish the goal. You can have other people check your progress. Ask a co-worker to check in on you regarding tasks you hate to do. Try to do undesirable tasks early in the day so you don’t spend big portions of your day worrying about annoying tasks that you have to get to later on.
Common, external time wasters are: 1. Unexpected Visitors: If people tend to drop in when you are trying to work, move your workstation so your back is to the door. If an unexpected visitor comes in, stand up to talk; this will give the message that you have to get back to what you were doing. You can also thank the person for coming by, and say that you have an important task you need to get back to. 2. Telephone Calls: A constantly ringing telephone can quickly get you off task. If you can’t eliminate the calls, limit the time they take. Provide short, efficient answers, and end the conversation politely when both parties have the information they need. If you can control calls, use voicemail when you need it. Schedule times to take and to return calls, and let callers know the time slot that you are available. 3. Sorting Through (Or Avoiding Sorting Through) Mail: A stack of mail on your desk can easily grow and become overwhelming. When you receive mail, sort it into stacks: • what’s important (separated into stacks of “information only” and “need action”) • what is addressed to others (if applicable) • what should be thrown away 4. Letting Your E-mail Inbox Pile Up: Delete junk mail. Don’t use your work e-mail for personal e-mail; you could be tempted to handle non-work-related issues at-work, and end up wasting time that should have been used to get work-related duties accomplished. M
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Dealing With Deadline Stress You know the feeling -- the knot in your stomach caused by the fear of not getting a report, presentation, or project done on time. The countdown goes down to the very last minute when you can say, “It’s done!” Sometimes no matter how hard and fast you work, you miss your deadline, adding to your physical and emotional stress. This isn’t a healthful way to work, and it also can be damaging to your career. “Missing deadlines is a sign of a non-committed employee in the minds of many managers and is unacceptable workplace behavior,” says Chris S. Frings, Ph.D., a professional speaker and author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Effective Time Management. “Procrastination, unrealistic deadlines, and/or lack of appropriate prioritization are why most deadlines are missed. People also frequently start too late to work on a project with a deadline. Waiting until the last minute to start something causes stress and often results in less than your best work.”
Dr. Frings offers the following suggestions on how to stay on track. Make it interesting
“If you have multiple tasks, ask your supervisor to prioritize them so you know which are more important,” Dr. Frings says. “Discuss the deadlines and how you can find time to meet them with him or her, too.”
Nobody likes boring work, so people tend to put it off until the last minute. The solution is to make up a game about such work to add excitement to it. For example, give yourself points for making progress on a project, then give yourself a reward for every 10 points.
Allow for the unforeseen
Break it down
Projects usually take longer than you expect. Interruptions, delays, crises, and phone calls can eat up your time.
Sometimes a job can be so overwhelming that it’s difficult “Always plan extra time to meet your deadline,” says Dr. to even get started. If you’re not clear about what to do Frings. “That way, you may even be able to turn in your or how to do it, ask for more specific directions. Then work ahead of schedule, which will lower your stress and take that first step to get the ball rolling on the project. impress your boss.”
Analyze deadlines Don’t be afraid to tell your boss a project deadline is unrealistic. You may worry he or she will think you’re slow and incompetent, but the opposite is true. It demonstrates your ability to analyze all the aspects of an assignment and evaluate how long each will take. It also shows your concern for getting things done on time. “It’s better to say something up front so you can either get a more realistic deadline or get extra help so you can meet the deadline,” says Dr. Frings.
Plan ahead If you have a deadline, you can plan to meet it by working backward from your due date. List everything that needs to be done and put a mini deadline on it. Finally, when faced with deadlines or other work, be sure to take care of yourself by eating right, exercising regularly, and taking time to decompress. M
Prioritize appropriately You may put off doing a project with a deadline in order to do your daily urgent tasks. The problem is, your project may never get started. Fall 2013 Leadership 5
Salvaging a Troubled Business Businesses in financial crisis are often swirling in chaos. Managers get consumed with putting out fires. But when you’re moving from one emergency to another, it’s easy to lose track of the road ahead. Many managers make common mistakes, from letting go of the wrong people to misleading employees and creditors to not carefully watching their money. Managers frequently focus on cutting costs, but deciding that the accounting folks are expendable is a frequent error. Tracking financial data is crucial when you’re trying to save a business. If the accounting personnel contributed to the financial crisis, it’s better to hire replacements instead of sweeping out all the financial folks. Of course, where there’s employee fraud, complete incompetence, intentional misreporting or other grievous woes, they’ve got to go. New accounting personnel, no matter how competent, need current employees to explain the existing systems, location of records, types of reports, and any idiosyncrasies of the bookkeeping system. Without time to transition from old to new, the new number crunchers may have to do more forensic accounting – trying to reconstruct what has happened in the past – than regular financial reporting. Without good accounting folks, a business can easily lose the ability to get timely, accurate financial information. Whether a restructuring takes place out of court or through a reorganization plan in bankruptcy, keeping on good terms with company creditors is not only wise but could be the glue that makes a bad financial situation better. Even unfavorable news is better than no news at all: if no one’s returning your creditors’ calls, they will likely assume there’s something more dastardly going on than them simply not getting paid.
Don’t Lie What’s worse than not returning calls, however, is giving misleading information. The person who wants to stay in business usually thinks that any admission of financial distress is a bad idea, and that it’s better to either say nothing or pass along inaccurate information in the hope that credit won’t dry up. The theory seems to be that lack of information merely leads to nothing worse than speculation. But misleading information can be infinitely damaging, leading to distrust when the truth is eventually discovered. Giving accurate financial information is crucial to keeping a good relationship with creditors, and increases the odds of a successful reorganization. Employees should be treated with no less respect than creditors. Rumors of financial distress within an organization are sure to trigger a mass mailing of resumes. Management in a financially challenged business should examine each segment of the company to see what can be changed or eliminated in order to better the odds of surviving.
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Those parts of the business that drain more from the bottom line than they contribute can be labeled “bleeders.” Not staunching that negative cash flow – cutting costs and positions – could lead to the company’s demise.
Spend Wisely Managers should also turn a careful eye to overhead, which includes things like travel, insurance, rent and utilities. Are there any sacred cow expenditures that could be sacrificed? For example, prestige alone may not be a good enough reason to remain in a high-rent district. With financial woes, expect creditors to want cash for any deliveries. A struggling business also needs to stash some cash to cover potential bankruptcy costs, such as trustee and appraiser fees and deposits to keep utilities going. There are a few ways to come up with the cash – borrowing, selling securities, liquidating property that isn’t essential, keeping proceeds of accounts that would otherwise be turned over to a secured lender, and so on. But beware that some of these cash-producing methods are subject to the claims of third parties, and others may involve fraud or securities violations.
Don’t Be Dumb While raising cash is crucial, avoid doing anything that gives rise to graver problems than just being broke. Since companies pay government agencies from payroll withholdings, the temptation in financially troubled times is to treat such agencies as involuntary lenders. But those responsible face liability, and the unpaid taxes can later trip up a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan. The pressures of debt can cause you to make decisions that may appear smart in the short term, but later turn out to be unwise. Think ahead. By avoiding common mistakes, debtors have a fighting chance of avoiding bankruptcy. But even if you do end up in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, your odds of recovery are better. M
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Deskercise for the Office Bound Most people who exercise regularly say that being active makes them feel healthier and more energetic. And that’s not limited to joggers or tennis players. Many office workers are doing simple exercises at their desks, with surprisingly healthy benefits. These activities give you a mental boost, fight stress and promote flexibility, health experts say. The body dislikes staying still for long. The longer you’re still, the more tension that accumulates from being in one position. Yet, the average American sits for 7 1/2 hours a day! If you’re stuck behind a desk for that long, you can do some simple exercises while sitting or standing. No special skills or equipment is needed. One of the simplest exercises, for instance, is to just lean back in your chair and stretch. Mind you, the exercises won’t develop your cardiovascular system, build strength, or make you look better in your bathing suit. But they will reduce muscle tension and stress and help maintain the strength, flexibility, and muscle tone you already have. Remember to breathe normally while holding your body in one of the stretching positions. When you’re done, finish with some slow, deep breathing. If you work at a computer terminal -- and if you’re reading this at work, then this is for you! -- stretch your wrist muscles occasionally and take short breaks, health experts say. The idea is to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful wrist malady caused by repetitive movement. The experts recommend doing the desk exercises every hour or so, even if you do only one exercise at a time. Anything is better than staying in one position. In doing these exercises, go slowly and use the full range of motion. Sometimes joints won’t move quickly through a full range of motion, so if you do an exercise too quickly, you won’t get the full benefit. You also risk pulling a muscle if you do the exercises too quickly. It’s important to get up once an hour and walk around, even if it’s just to a filing cabinet. Sitting for long periods puts stress on the lower back, and leads to muscle atrophy and a loss of flexibility. A 10-minute walk is the best exercise for the office bound, experts say. When that’s not possible, the desk exercises are the next best thing.
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Pectoral stretch: Clasp hands behind head. Pull shoulder blades together and elbows back. Repeat 2 times. Purpose: Stretches pectorals or chest area. Sitting bend: Sit in a chair, feet flat on the floor, knees about 12 inches apart, hands at sides. Bend over as far as comfortable, hands reaching toward or touching the floor. Hold 3-5 seconds and then slowly pull your body back up into a sitting position while tightening your abdominal muscles. Relax, and repeat 4-5 times. Purpose: Stretches low back and hamstrings. Wrist flexion and hyperextension: Flexion -- gently apply force with the left hand to stretch the right wrist toward the underside of the right forearm. Hold for 3-5 seconds, relax and repeat with other side. Repeat exercises 5 times each wrist. Hyperextension -- gently apply force with the left palm to bend the right hand backward. Hold 3-5 seconds, relax and repeat 5 times each wrist. Purpose: Stretches wrists. Hug: Brings arms across chest trying to touch as far around the back as possible. Hold for 10 seconds, relax and repeat with a different arm on top. Purpose: Stretches back and shoulders. Head tilt: Slowly bend head to the right as far as possible, then to the left, then forward (with chin against your throat) and to the back. Repeat 2 times in each direction. Purpose: Loosens up, stimulates neck muscles. Vertical stretches: Feet shoulder-width apart, raise up on toes, extend the arms overhead. Alternately, reach as high as possible with each hand for 7-10 seconds. Relax, and repeat exercise 4 times. Purpose: Reduces tension and activates all major muscle groups. M
TEAM BUILDING EXERCISES FOR ADULTS Whether you’re putting together a company retreat or just trying to build team morale in the office, team building exercises are an efficient way to bring groups of people together. Team building exercises help reinforce the concepts of teamwork, communication, and problem solving, as well as helping people who aren’t familiar with each other interact and get to know more about one another.
Egg Drop In this exciting challenge, teams are given a pile of random materials -- such as straws, string, Styrofoam cups, and a cardboard box -- and the challenge to make a contraption that will help an egg withstand being dropped from the top of a multi-story structure, such as a small building or parking garage. Team members must work together and use the materials to construct the device within a certain period of time. All teams then present their contraptions and explain what went into making them. Then, the moment of truth: each team puts an egg in their device and drops it to see if it will survive. To make the activity more competitive, teams can vote on their favorite contraption among the other teams, or can cast votes for the most creative. The device with the most votes that also protects its egg wins.
Tower Build Similar to the egg drop exercise, the tower build is a challenge in which teams have a certain amount of time to build a free-standing tower structure using random materials. Teams should be separated into different rooms so they are not able to see one another’s structures. At the end of the time limit, a judge will measure each structure to see which is the tallest. At the end of the competition, all the teams gather to discuss what group dynamics went on during the activity, how leadership roles were established and carried out, and how teamwork played a role in completing the activity.
Lost at Sea For this activity, teams are given a specific scenario and asked to come together as a group and make a series of decisions. For example, teams must pretend their ship has sunk and they are stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean. The only remaining items from the ship are a smattering of different supplies, such as a shaving mirror, a roll of duct tape, shoelaces, a transistor radio, and so on. Teams must rank all the supplies in order of usefulness from most to least, and give an explanation for each decision. All the teams’ lists are then presented in front of the whole group. Participants then talk about group dynamics while ranking the items and how they resolved conflicts and disputes during the contest. M
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Avoid Disability Discrimination When Hiring New Employees Of all the anti-discrimination laws, none confuses employers more than the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), especially when it comes to hiring. Employers want to make sure that the person they hire can actually perform the job, but often aren’t sure how to explore this issue without running afoul of the law. If you remember one simple rule, you’ll be in good shape: You can ask people about their abilities, but you can’t ask about their disabilities. This means that you can ask how an applicant plans to perform each function of the job, but you can not ask whether the applicant has any disabilities that will prevent him or her from performing each function of the job. One way to ensure that you stay within the rules is to attach a detailed job description to the application or describe the job duties to the applicant during the job interview. Then ask how the applicant plans to perform the job. This approach gives applicants an opportunity to talk about their qualifications and strengths. It also allows them to let you know whether they might need reasonable accommodations to do the job. Some other rules to keep in mind: • If you have no reason to believe that the applicant has a disability, you cannot ask whether he or she will need an accommodation (meaning special help or equipment) from you to perform the job. • If you do have reason to believe that the applicant has a disability (for example, the disability is obvious or the applicant has told you about the disability), you can ask about accommodations. If you still feel a little lost about which questions are legal and which aren’t, see the list of permissible and impermissible questions below.
Job Interview Questions That You Can and Can’t Ask Under the ADA The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that enforces the ADA. According to the EEOC, you should never ask the following questions in a job interview: • Have you ever had or been treated for any of the following conditions or diseases? (Followed by a checklist of various diseases or conditions.) • List any conditions or diseases for which you have been treated in the past three years. • Have you ever been hospitalized? If so, for what condition? • Have you ever been treated by a psychologist or psychiatrist? If so, for what? • Have you ever been treated for any mental condition? • Do you suffer from any health-related condition that might prevent you from performing this job? • Have you had any major illnesses in the past five years? • How many days were you absent from work because of illness last year? (You may, however, tell the applicant what your attendance requirements are and then ask whether he or she will be able to meet those requirements.)
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• Do you have any physical defects that preclude you from doing certain types of things? • Do you have any disabilities or impairments that might affect your ability to do the job? • Are you taking any prescribed drugs? • Have you ever been treated for drug addiction or alcoholism? • Have you ever filed a worker’s compensation claim? According to the EEOC, you may ask the following questions in a job interview: • Can you perform all of the job functions? • How would you perform the job functions? (If you want to ask any applicant this question, you should ask all applicants this question.) • Can you meet my attendance requirements? • What are your professional certifications and licenses? • Do you currently use illegal drugs? M
How to Prepare a Resume for an Internal Job Internal job openings pose new career opportunities for existing employees. If you decide to apply for an open internal position, prepare a functional resume that stresses your qualifications and how you can fulfill the duties of the position. Realize that even though you already work for the company, managers in different departments may not be familiar with your work. You should treat the job opening as if you were applying from the outside and prepare a well-written resume that is targeted to the job.
Understand the requirements of the posted position. Ask for a copy of the job description and review all of the functions and responsibilities. Talk to colleagues who work in the same department or have interacted with past individuals who held the position. You can also speak to the supervisor or manager who oversees the position to ask questions and learn additional information.
Target your resume objective to the position for which you are applying. Use one or two sentences to express your interest the position. Use the exact job title and describe how you can use your best qualities to benefit the company. For example, your objective statement could read, “To become the Accounts Receivable Supervisor where I can utilize my dedication and initiative to keep receivables current and improve cash flows.”
Complete a summary of your qualifications that relate to the job. Organize your qualifications under three or four broad functional skills. List them in order of importance, naming the skill that relates the closest to the position first. Use broad function titles such as “Administrative,” “Communication”, or “Leadership.” Under each function title, use bullets to list examples of skills and accomplishments. Include statistical figures, recognition, and completed tasks that substantiate your claims.
List your employment history. Provide your job title, name of the organization or company, and your employment dates. Your list should be in chronological order with your current position first.
Add a section for professional affiliations or activities if they relate to the position. Stress offices you held or projects for which you were responsible to underscore your leadership skills.
Include your educational background. Provide the name of the institution, attendance dates, degrees, and your major. Be sure to list any achievements or special recognition you have earned. M
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A note to Supervisors... From time to time, situations arise when a supervisor is not sure how to respond to a particular behavior. The Employee Assistance Program is available on a 24/7 basis for consultation on issues such as: referring an employee to the EAP, how best to respond to and manage difficult behavior in the workplace, and whether training or some other form of group intervention (such as an organizational intervention or a conflict resolution) may be helpful for a particular situation. The EAP can serve as an ally to anyone who is working with a troubled employee.
• 24/7 supervisor consultation regarding problems in the workplace
• Assessment of behavioral risk on the job • Return-to-Duty conferences
• Advisory services in writing, revising, and implementing policies
• Supervisor and Manager training
• Unlimited formal Work Performance Referrals
• Coaching for management and leadership skills
• Conflict resolution for supervisor-employee problems
MINES believes that employees are an organization’s most valuable resource. Your EAP is always available to provide you and your employees with support.
The MINES Team
Questions? Reach us at 800.873.7138 | www.MINESandAssociates.com