Why diversity is so good for the workplace...

Diversity in the workplace has become a buzz term that many business owners seek to understand so that they can implement it. However, it may go beyond simply hoping for more diverse candidates come to you; sometimes you have to actively seek out diverse employees. Why should any business owner be interested in making the effort? Here’s why diversity is so good for your business–and bottom line financial management. What is diversity? Before you embark on a mission to increase diversity in the workplace, it’s important to understand what it is. The first things that come to mind when thinking of a diverse workforce are probably race, age, religion and gender. While these are important building blocks, it is also a good idea to seek out other kinds of diversity, such as people with disabilities, workers who have immigrated or workers who identify as LGBT. All of these groups possess members who have valuable contributions to make to the business world. And as the face of the general population changes to reflect these identities, it’s a good idea for companies to follow suit. It widens your talent pool. This advantage comes from sheer numbers; the more diverse your talent pool, the more people you have to choose from when making hiring decisions. In addition, your company could gain a competitive edge by looking for top-notch talent in underrepresented minority groups, giving you an advantage that few other employers have. It helps you keep the most talented workers. Not only does building a more diverse workforce help you attract more high-achieving workers, but it also helps you keep them happy. Research shows that diverse work teams are the most likely to value inclusion and minimize feelings of intimidation or hostility. All of these characteristics make for a happy place of employment, which means that workers will enjoy being there. It makes your work team more creative. No matter what kind of diversity you strive for, you are likely to end up with people on your team who are no strangers to challenges or controversy. This makes for a workforce that is more responsive when challenges arise; not only can they come up with the best solutions for your business, but they will also be knowledgeable about the best ways to implement those solutions. It helps you attract more consumers. There’s nothing more beneficial to a business–large or small–than having many different perspectives on the same issue. Especially when it comes to marketing, you could give your company a leg up on attracting more customers and making the ones that you have more loyal by including suggestions for selling points from a variety of backgrounds. It makes your workplace more adaptable. Seeking out diversity is a process that gives you exponential returns. Even if you’re just starting small, actively seeking people of different backgrounds and experiences has a way of making you more dis-positioned to acquire more diverse talent in the future. And as you start this entrepreneurial journey, you’ll find that everything around you becomes more adaptable. For more ideas on how you can use creative solutions in the workplace, click here....

Ask Your Boss: Is It Okay To Socialize A Lot With Co-Workers?...

“Is it okay to socialize a lot with co-workers after work? What about during work hours?” Good questions! I, personally, am not a big fan of happy hours with co-workers for two reasons: When you share a drink or two, you relax, and you feel that you are more friends than co-workers. This attitude might be carried over into the work environment, and consequently may cause some trouble. Or misunderstanding. Or gossip. If I go out, I prefer to go out with my friends. When I am with my friends, I do not have to watch every single word I say, and re-play the night out in my head afterwords, worrying about what I said. Life is much easier that way. In the office I am friendly with everyone, but I am not friends with anyone. Does it make sense? I believe that talking and joking (appropriately) with your co-workers creates a good office environment. Too much talking, however, might lead to gossiping. It also seems like a waste of time. Just my humble opinion. I try to talk about neutral, less personal stuff. It is safe that way. My advice to you: always keep your personal life and your work life separate. But I am not going to lie and say that I have never made friends at work. I have two very good friends at work. But none of them are my co-workers. Both of them work in different departments, and we almost never have to work together on any projects. Beware of one important thing. No matter how wonderful your organization seems, how friendly people look, most of the time your co-workers tend to watch each other. It is human nature. We all work in a competitive environment. I have an employee who loves to chat with his co-workers. He does it all the time. And people notice. I’ve been asked a few times if he doesn’t have enough to do because he seems to be walking around the building, visiting different offices and talking a lot. So, I had a friendly chat with him about his overly chatty behavior. Make sure you know what self-image you want to project in the office, and make necessary adjustments. You’ll do just fine. Want to Ask Your Boss a question? There is a form on the top of the right sidebar. Submit it, and I will write a post in response. ...

Ask Your Boss: When a Boss Doesn’t Deal With an Office Bully...

“I am in a unique position. I am an onsite vendor working for a client. The job is going pretty well except for one thing:  One of the members on our small team is very difficult to work with. My client boss has taken me aside and apologized for the way this person has treated me i.e. super passive aggressive nit picky emails. My client boss said she would talk to this person. The rudeness has continued. Now my client boss has said that it is my responsibility to work out the issues with this person. I told her that I felt very uncomfortable due to the vendor/client relationship. She said there was no conflict.  Is my client boss taking the easy way out by having me take the responsibility for the relationship? Personally I think my client boss needs to handle the matter not me.” You are right. It seems to me that your boss is choosing an easy way out because you are a vendor, an outsider, and not her direct subordinate. But of course, I might be wrong with my assumptions. I wonder if it is her management style. Or absence thereof. My guess is she does not like to deal with personnel issues. Let’s be honest, no one likes to deal with problem employees or office bullies. My answer to you is based on two assumptions. Assumption one: she did indeed talk to the employee, and we might never find out what was said between them. No matter what was said, it yielded no results. Could it be that this particular employee is known for passive aggressive behavior? Could it be that everyone is tired of dealing with the bully? Anything is possible. Obviously, the rudeness continues. Assumption two: she never talked to that employee because she is protecting her own people, and you are perceived as an outsider. In any case, it seems to me that you are on your own. I hate rude people in offices. I classify them as bullies. Bullying needs to be dealt with. Therefore, I see three choices so far (please, realize that I am going off the information you gave me.) Choice Number One You take control of the situation, and you confront the bully. Express your thoughts to the bully firmly but tactfully, making sure to mention that you do not appreciate this type of behavior, and you are not going to tolerate it. Explain how he/she makes you feel, and how it affects you. Then, ask how this person sees the situation. Or simply ask why such rudeness is directed towards you. You might be able to work it out. Choice Number Two You can print out all the offensive emails, and go to the boss’s Boss or directly to HR. Tell your story and explain that you are not getting any help. The situation might get resolved. You also might gain another enemy in the face of your boss. Or you might lose your job and a client. Choice Number Three Don’t do anything, and patiently wait until this project is over, and you can move on to another project and another client. I hope one day you will work for a boss who is not afraid to manage and be a boss. Want to ask Your Boss a question? There is a form on the top of the right sidebar. Fill it in and submit it. I will write a post in response....

How to Deal With Office Assholes

Every office has assholes who spoil everything for everyone. They annoy us. They upset us. They drive everyone crazy. It takes a certain personality, a certain talent to do what the rest of us view as appalling, disrespectful or plain crazy, and get away with it. The good news is that we don’t have to put up with these office assholes. The bad news is that it is not easy to confront them. In my career I have dealt with a few types of office jerks. Feel free to add one of your own in the comments below. The Loud Mouth This type of office jerk has prolonged and extremely loud conversations on the phone. Most of the time these conversations are about politics, religion, dates, women, men, about anything really but work. The Loud Mouth disregards coworkers, work deadlines, coworkers political views, religious believes and privacy issues. Everyone is on edge and ready to punch each other in a throat when the Loud Mouth finally hangs up. What you can do: talk to the Loud Mouth and ask them to stop being a jerk. If this doesn’t work you can try to declare your own war, and take some actions against the Loud Mouth. Ever tried talking on your cell phone in the Loud’s Mouth cubicle while the asshole is on the phone, proclaiming allegiance to Scientology? Yeah, me neither. Most of the time no matter what you do, the Loud Mouth might not listen to you. Therefore, I recommend talking to your boss. The Interrupter This type is a bully. I hated bullies in high school. I hate bullies in the office. The Interrupter cuts you off in every meeting, talks over you, disregards your opinion, shows no respect. The worst is that it all happens in front of other people. The Interrupter makes you feel embarrassed, humiliated and disrespected. You start having self-doubts, thus your performance suffers. You lose your focus. What you can do: there is no other way around it but to stand up for yourself. You don’t have to take this shit from anyone. Well, maybe your boss (and still it depends on circumstances.) However, do not be rude to the Interrupter. Stay cool and professional. Tell the offender directly “I am not done talking. Let me finish.” Say it firmly, clearly and loudly (but please don’t scream.) You know what worked for me in the past? Extending my arm, palm up to the offender’s face and saying, “Let. Me. Finish.” The Office Wanderer This is the type that annoys me the most. The Office Wanderer hangs out in your cubicle at the most inconvenient times, telling you weekend stories, staring at your computer, scanning the papers on your desk. The worst part is that no matter what you do or say, nothing seems to work on the Office Wanderer who keeps coming back. What you can do: the more straight forward you are going to be, the better it will work. In the past I would say that I did not have time to chat. I would ask if there was something the Office Wanderer was looking for on my desk. I would turn my back on the uninvited cubicle guest, and would explain that I was working on an approaching deadline. If the Office Wanderer insisted on staying and talking, I would jokingly say that it seemed to me they had a lot of time on their hands. I am a...

Ask Your Boss: Why Does A Boss Care if I am Late Ten Minutes...

Why does a boss care about someone being 10 mins late to work but doesn’t notice when that person works through her lunch to meet a deadline? Just from the way you formulated this question, I can see that you are frustrated with your boss. However, I see not one but two issues at hand: You are coming late to work. You do not feel appreciated. Let’s not put these two issues in one bundle. They have nothing to do with each other. I am going to tackle one issue at a time. Tardiness The reasons I, as a boss, care when someone is late ten minutes: You are constantly late. Tardiness is your problem. Your shift starts at a certain time and, probably, for a good reason: You provide customer service. Lines of people outside the door, waiting for you to show up, tend to get angry. You need to open the office. Customers and employees crowd the parking lot outside, waiting for you to open the door. You have to start answering the phone at a certain time. No one wants to listen to a non-stop ringing phone, especially on Monday morning. You have other duties and responsibilities that need to be performed at a certain time. Whatever those duties are, you need to start performing them on time. Your late arrival puts a burden on others to cover for you. Yes, ten minutes can be more important than you think. Your co-workers get upset with you for being late. If they can be at work on time, why can’t you? They feel that you are getting preferential treatment. Your tardiness might be ruining the teamwork for apparent reasons I mentioned above. The reasons I, as a boss, do not care when someone is late ten minutes: It happens on a very seldom occasion and with a legitimate excuse. Your work schedule is flexible. No one depends on you to be in the office at the certain time. You are an exempt employee (you are not paid based on your hours but rather your job), and you make sure that your job is getting done no matter what time you come in or leave. Not knowing your situation, I will say this: put in some effort to be at work on time. If your boss won’t notice it, others will. It pays off in the long run. Not Appreciated at Work You work through your lunch, you stay long hours, and you never hear a word of appreciation, or a simple “thank you.” Before you jump the gun and storm into your boss’s office to have a conversation, there are certain things you need to consider. Things to Consider: Evaluate your office environment. Does your boss treat everyone the same way? In other words, is your situation unique or is it a part of an overall management style? Take a hard look at yourself. Do you show appreciation for others? Are you a team player? Do you show appreciation for your boss? Are you making your accomplishments known? Not in a loud and obnoxious way, but in a smart and subtle way. Does your boss know what you do? You might be surprised by the response. Do you let your manager know on a regular basis what projects you are working on? Assess your attitude. Even if you do a great job but your attitude is negative, you are grumpy and unsatisfied most of the time, it...