We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange. Our members are libraries of all sorts: public, schools, academics, special libraries, archives, and history centers. This season we are working through some skills that people in any kind of library will need to be successful in their work.
This week we will be talking about policies and procedures. These are tools that can not only guide your library and help you make decisions, but they can also be so useful in explaining to other people what you are doing and why you are doing it. Good policies and procedures can save you a lot of trouble!
This week we have Guest Host Karen Pundsack, Executive Director at Great River Regional Library System to help us get some ideas!
Employee engagement is sure to be at the forefront of any employer’s mind, but how often do you hear someone talking about employee disengagement? You can have a great work environment, but even if 90 percent of your employees are happy and engaged, there are bound to be a few stragglers.
Now, some employers think that one or two unhappy employees won’t have that big of an impact on their business. But even if disengaged employees are the minority, their managers and co-workers still have to pick up the slack for them, bringing down the productivity of the entire office.
Here’s how to spot a disengaged employee — and how to handle the situation.
3 Telltale Signs of Employee Disengagement
What does disengagement look like? While everyone has their off days, sustained patterns of the following three symptoms should motivate you to act.
1. Low productivity. This is often a dead giveaway for disengagement. Yes, it’s possible that an employee simply lacks the right skills or needs training. But if you don’t see a change, consider that they might simply be disengaged.
2. Irresponsible behavior. Disengaged employees might not take their schedules seriously, forget deadlines, deliver sloppy work or disclose confidential information. An employee who’s motivated and wants the business to succeed won’t do any of this on a regular basis. Naturally, one missed deadline isn’t a sign of disengagement — but multiple certainly can be.
3. A change in temperament. If an employee who is normally happy and hardworking gradually becomes sullen and isolated, the shift may be a sign of disengagement.
Ed Topliss has a problem. His wife has left him and all of a sudden he cannot complete the sex novels that he grinds out to put food on the table. He needs inspiration and why not his own life, with just a few changes. This is absolutely hysterical, a master work, incredibly funny and very much in your face. If you love far-out humor, and realize just what a fine writer Westlake is, you’ll absolutely love this book and realize at the end that this zany creation is very serious indeed.
There’s a saying in software that all bugs are eventually user interface bugs, because someone has to see them to report them. In organizations, it often seems like all problems are eventually communication problems, because communication is the way we interface with each other—and the way most problems surface.
There are a lot of reasons why communication within a company can break down. Here are some of the most common.
Communication problem #1: Lack of depth
Lack of depth shows up most when communicating strategy: Someone will lay out the way forward, but will not be able to outline what is actually changing and will stall on concrete questions, creating confusion and frustration as people are unable to connect the changes to their day-to-day responsibilities.
Example 1: Running a workshop without a clear goal and outcome. People will not understand what they are doing and feel like their time was wasted.
Example 2: Outlining plans for a product improvement but glossing over the underlying work that will be needed to support it—and the implications for support staff.
Good strategy requires depth, which means having an understanding of key problems and an ability to explain how the strategy addresses them. When that depth is absent, credibility is lost and the person announcing the strategy often ends up being ignored.
“Do you work at a place where your contributions are valued?”
“Is there a good sense of teamwork?”
“Are you the shining light?”
“Did you create enough value for the company?”
“Does your boss think you did a good job?”
If the answer is a “no”, sorry, you ain’t treated with respect.
Sadly, one of the places that we often feel the least celebrated is at ‘work’. There are ups and downs in every organisation, but when you know you’re making a positive contribution, it makes you celebrate and when you know you’re here for no good and just tolerated, you need to move!
“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.’’ If you feel grumpy while you’re at work, it is evident that you aren’t happy.
You watch others get the promotion, you are not given the raise you deserve, you are excluded when it comes to taking responsibility, and you are not getting the recognition you believe you deserve. All this is because you aren’t making your achievements recognized.