When an entrepreneur starts a new company, does s/he say, "I want the culture of my company to be laid back but hard working with a management team who is results-driven and not process-oriented"? Or does a company's culture evolve based upon the personalities of the people hired?
I have recently been intrigued about how an organization's work environment evolves and at what stage of the business life-cycle it is defined. An organization's work environment is influenced by management styles, employee satisfaction with benefits, attitudes toward technology and flextime/telecommuting, results-driven vs. process-oriented personalities; they are all factors in understanding how a company's employees interact with one another and conduct business as an entity. But which came first when it comes to building a "company culture," the chicken or the egg?
Nicole Long, a professional management and business writer and blogger, explains "The actions of management and the way they handle various aspects of the business, such as employee development and discipline, have an effect on workplace culture." In addition, employee behavior has a large impact. "Employees want to feel valued and important." Identifying employee strengths, encouraging and rewarding teamwork, setting and achieving goals, and providing attractive tangible and intangible benefits are all key factors that 1) help to create a positive workplace, 2) attract top talent, and 3) contribute to how an employee perceives their value at an organization. If they feel valued at their place of work, their interactions with the team and their customers have a heavy impact on the definition of their business culture and the level of productivity. All Business agrees, "Corporate culture is created by what people say, how people treat each other and their customers, and why managers make decisions."
In the John Leonard recruiting process, staffing Manager-Direct Hire Division Rob Harvie emphasizes that understanding and being able to speak to the working climate of our clients is just as important as the job description. "It is our responsibility to paint that picture for job seekers about what it is like to work at a specific organization, and we can do so because we have had that extensive, in person conversation with each one of our clients." For example, Staffing Consultant -Direct Hire Division Jonathan Singleton visited his startup client a couple of months ago to get a feel for the type of employee who would excel in their constantly-busy, entrepreneurial atmosphere. "A company with a laid back environment and a foosball table in their game room is not an ideal environment for an individual who prefers and is accustomed to maintaining a structured, more traditional environment and it is important to recognize those differences from the get-go" he says.
Think about how you define the type of place you work at, and what determines who you are as a team of individuals. Is your company culture a result of what owners/management said is important or is it derived from the type of employees within the organization? What characteristics about people will you look for when proactively recruiting for your business or for your client in the future? As a prospective employee what cultural traits are you looking for?
Who do you think determines a company's culture - employer, managers or the employees?
Problems in the workplace are a real concern, and ways to encourage employees to become healthier have continued to be a hot topic, even in these tough economic times. Why do companies continue to invest in health initiatives? Part of the reason is to make the company itself more productive: healthy employees use less sick days, are more engaged and efficient when at work, leading to higher productivity. And part of it must also be recognized as the desire to cultivate a good work atmosphere which will attract better talent and help retain employees.
How real is the health crisis in American companies today? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of workers reported their jobs as moderately to severely stressful in a survey conducted by Northwestern National Life, and 25 percent reported often feeling burned out in a survey conducted by the Families and Work Institute.
"The trend is now clear," said Randy Johnson, senior vice president for Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits for the U.S. Chamber. "Workplace wellness programs are now front and center in becoming another tool by which employers can help control health care costs while improving the morale and health of their employees. While every employer is different and the form of wellness programs varies from simple to complex, developments in this area are truly a win-win for both employers and employees."
And the data bears that out - 62 percent of all companies offer some type of wellness program, according to TrendsUpdates.com. Common programs include smoking-cessation programs, stress management, weight-loss and exercise programs and nutrition education. (Per The American Institute for Preventative Medicine)
Free Programs to Use Now
So is your company/employer on a tight budget? Here are two FREE programs that you can implement easily and immediately:
- Worksite Wellness Walking Program
The Worksite Wellness Walking Program, created by the American Heart Association, encourages sedentary employees to take a walk to improve their health. Guided by information provided by the AHA, companies set up "Start! Walking" paths in the workplace and encourage employees to use them. Resource materials include a coordinators guide to implementing the program, mileage tracking tools for employees and promotional posters.
- Move and Improve
This is a worksite wellness program designed to increase physical activity for office workers. Implemented in Maine and studied by the Maine--Harvard Prevention Research Center, this free 12-week program seeks to reduce the participants' risk of obesity and chronic diseases through lifestyle changes. Participants receive a quarterly newsletter with health promotion tips, voluntarily engage in at least a half-hour of physical activity at least four days a week for at least eight weeks of the 12-week program and have access to online support.
Local Movers & Shakers- Healthiest Boston-area companies
Honored by the Boston Business Journal for their workplace wellness initiatives, we take our hats off to the following companies:
Small companies (0-99 employees)
- Borislow Insurance, Methuen
- Food Should Taste Good, Needham
- Massachusetts Hospital Association, Burlington
- Thorbahn, Norwell
Medium Companies (100-499 employees)
- Boston Apparel Group, West Bridgewater
- Cambridge Systematics, Cambridge
- Family Service Association, Fall River
- MiddleOak, Salem
Large Companies (500 plus employees)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Boston
- Eastern Bank, Lynn
- Genzyme, Cambridge
- IBM, Cambridge
- Alkermes, Waltham
- Deloitte, Boston
- EMD Serono, Rockland
- Raytheon Company, Waltham
- Tufts Health Plan, Watertown
So, the bottom line:
There are many ways that companies can help their employees lead healthier lives - and the positive impact can have a direct correlation to workplace productivity.
Check out what makes Google so healthy and happy
What work programs are provided at your workplace? And what others have you heard about that you wish your company would offer?
John Leonard Employment Services, Inc. is pleased to announce that the results of our 2011 Career & Recruitment Survey are in!
- Scroll down for full results -
During the month of March 2011, John Leonard ran our first ever Career & Recruitment Survey. The goal was to use the information provided by respondents to refine our process and provide the best quality services to both our client companies and candidates during this time of change and evolution within our industry. A total of 181 individuals participated in this comprehensive survey.
The difficult job market has forced everyone to get creative and think outside of the box. The information gathered from each response has given us a clear insight into the important issues surrounding today’s job market … and we’d like to share the results.
A sincere thank you to all of the respondents from a broad range of industries and at various levels who took the time to participate and share their insights with us.
The John Leonard Team
To receive the White Paper containing the results , please email email@example.com
Different Management Styles that WORK or DO NOT!
Managers are crucial to any organization regardless of industry or company size. Their role is to supervise, lead and motivate a team. They set standards and give direction. It is their job to administer human and financial resources in such a way to meet objectives and achieve success for the larger organization they represent.
While all managers share the same primary objective, there are many different approaches and management styles that work in achieving success.
Which management style are you?
Which management style do you work best with?
The coach is a manager who leads with motivational tactics. They act as a mentor to their team members and work to pull out each individual's strengths. They constructively criticize, but focus on the positive.
Why this style works: This strategy works because each member of the team receives tailored instruction and feedback that is specific to their skill set and personality type.
Why it does not: The downfall of "The Coach" style is time. While paying specific attention to each employee's needs, the timeliness of decision making may be lost.
The Hands-On Manager
The hands-on manager leads by example and jumps right in the trenches with their team. They show their team that they are willing to take part in the nitty-gritty day-to-day tasks.
Why this style works: The hands-on approach works because it displays camaraderie and shows the team that the manager knows what the team's job entails and is willing to be involved.
Why it does not: The downfall of the "hands-on manager" is that when working alongside the team, sense of authority may be lost.
The Entrepreneurial Leader
The entrepreneurial leader is a risk taker who applies their entrepreneurial values to management in order to execute a distinct vision. This manager uses their emotions and high energy level to inspire and motivate his team.
Why this Style works: The management style of an entrepreneur works because there is a set vision, whether it be out-of-the-box or a bit progressive, the team gets on-board because of the inspiration behind it.
Why is does not: The entrepreneurial style of leadership may not always work if the vision is too abstract to engage the entire team or if the leader is out of touch with the team altogether.
The Authoritative Manager
This manager leads by maintaining a sense of authority and an air of superiority. They have a clear set of boundaries between them self and their team. They command obedience and devotion to duties, and are very task orientated.
Why this style works: This style works because the manager maintains authority and respect by creating a hierarchy. Everyone knows who's boss and follows his or her instructions implicitly.
Why it does not: This approach can backfire if employees developed resentment or the "us vs. them" mentality. To be a successful authoritative manager, you must make sure to also relate to the team.
The Democratic Manager
The democratic manager allows their team members to make their own decisions by way of discussion or vote. This manager creates their own strategy through majority opinion.
Why this work: This works because the manager is giving the power to the people, the ones who see the day-to-day operations and truly know what works and what does not. With this style, there is no "bad guy" when it comes to decision making.
Why it does not: This management style can backfire if employees do not agree and begin arguing amongst themselves. It also can be more time consuming.
John Leonard's current management opportunities:
Sales Manager | Ad Operations Manager | Talent Lateral Recruitment Manager
Training & Development Manager | Attorney Recruitment Manager
Below are the results of John Leonard's 2010 Legal Careers Survey analyzed by position held, education level, current salary and desired salary within the legal industry.
The 2010 Legal Careers Survey was designed to help John Leonard, as well as our client candidates and companies, predict developing trends within the legal community for 2011.
Please scroll for full results.
Last Friday, the John Leonard team celebrated the holiday season with the annual Office Holiday Party. There was food, drinks, gifts and games all around.
We started around noon with a lunch spread and socializing. Then we gathered around for the traditional Yankee Swap. Once gifts were exchanged, swapped and stolen (all in good fun), we had dessert and finished up the party with a 3-team company-wide game of Jeopardy – A good time was had by all.
Office Holiday Party: The Dos and Don'ts
While the annual office holiday party is a time to unwind and enjoy, it also raises a few tough questions: What is proper office-party-etiquette? How much fun is too much fun? And, will office party behavior cause repercussions?
Here at John Leonard we’ve discussed and created some guidelines for others to follow when enjoying their office holiday parties.
Below are the cardinal rules. The five do’s and don’ts of the Office Holiday Party.
- Don’t Pass Up the Invitation to the Office Holiday Party
The office holiday party is a time to show your company pride and team spirit. It is important to make an appearance even if you have a prior engagement or need to slip out early. It will show management that you care about you company and your co-works.
- Do: Participate
Showing up may be half the battle, but participating in the fun will show your company that you are a team player and that you see your role in the company as more than just an obligation. Eat, drink and be merry.
- Don’t: Over Indulge
Everyone has an office party horror story about the colleague who drank too much. Don’t let that be you. It’s not what you want to be remembered for. While it is important to participate and enjoy, do so in moderation.
- Do: Behave Professionally
Treat the office holiday party as a professional networking event… because that’s what it is. Tough it is after hours and it is a “party,” the bosses are still watching and want to see all of the best qualities that represent for their company come forth.
- Don’t: Spend the Whole Party Talking “Work”
You are with your co-workers from 9-5 all week. You spend most of your waking hours together at work… So, don’t spend the whole evening talking about business. You run the risk of coming off as a bore or appearing to have an agenda. Relax and have a good time.
This year at your company holiday party have fun, but remember where you are!
Happy Holidays from all of us at John Leonard!
When I arrive at work at 7:30AM, the first thing I do is turn on my computer. Next I open up my browser and immediately open up five tabs: one for Bullhorn, one for G-Chat, one for Twitter, one for LinkedIn and one for different news outlets depending on my mood. Once the information feed is spread across my desktop, I pull out my Blackberry and sit it next to my computer screen so I will instantly be alerted by the flashing red light if I receive a text message, BBM or Facebook alert. Lastly, at about 7:32AM, I turn to the most traditional piece of technology on my desk – my phone – and I check my voicemails.
Not everyone at John Leonard starts their morning this way, but being right at the center of Gen-Y, this is how I start my day, every day... -Jill Gaynor, Staffing Consultant
GEN-Y: FOREVER CHANGING THE WORKPLACE
Generation Y, also known as “Millenials” describes the group born between 1982 and 2000, the group known as the Technical generation, the group oft described as entitled, lazy and fickle – and the group that is now taking the workplace by storm.
They are the largest group to hit the workforce since Baby Boomers and aside from the sheer magnitude in number, the generation is hard to ignore due to their loud presence, “I-can-do-anything” attitude, and ever-growing presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and MySpace.
With them, Gen Y has brought a new set of norms, new ways of communicating and new ways of doing business all together. Thus, forcing management and their predecessors, Gen X and Boomers, to follow suit – some willingly and some not-so-much.
Gen Y is a generation defined by technology. They are the generation who writes informally, texts, Tweets, Skypes and pokes. They are the generation constantly plugged into ear buds and constantly fidgeting with the latest pieces of technology or the latest mobile app. They are a generation whose reach is defined by friends, followers and connections.
Gen Y is also the generation who can connect across cultures, borders and times zone instantaneously through their virtual networks. They are the employees whose work days are not confined to 9-5. They can be reached at any time, day or night, by phone, email or text. They are the generation who has integrated the social and professional realms into a solitary state of being.
No generation has seen business done this why and that is where the controversy begins. It is new and still mostly unknown. Gen Y entered the workplace, ignored standards of practice and created new ways to achieve the same goals. Some fear the change, some condemn it, some attack it and few embrace it.
In the October issue of FastCompany Magazine, Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something, wrote an article entitled, “Why Bashing Millenials is Wrong.” In her article, Lublin, who is a member of the Boomer generation, makes a strong case for Gen Y. She recognizes all of the generalized weaknesses that have been brought to light about Millenials in recent months and then goes on to explain how to reinterpret these conceptions and exploit them as positive new facets being brought to your business.
“You say self-indulgent and self-obsessed, I say optimistic and self-confident., “says Lublin whose COO is 27 and Business Development Strategist is 26. “They are hungry for responsibility, and I give it to them.”
Lublin goes on to highlight the positive impact a Millenial’s virtual network can have on a company.
“Millenials don't have traditional boundaries or an old-fashioned sense of privacy. They live out loud, sharing details of their lives with thousands of other people,” says Lublin.
Lublin embraces this reach and sees every Tweet or status update as free PR for her company. Recently Lublin has begun asking interviewees how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends they have.
Gen Y is unwilling to change and unwilling to revert back to the old ways of doing business. They have forever changed the workplace. Now it is up to companies to embrace these changes and use them to their advantage rather than dwell on the new and unknown.
In the late 1800's, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “we change, whether we like it or not.”
Ironically, this 19th century word of advice may be the best attitude to adapt as we face the changes of the 21st century workplace.