Merge's Blog

Monthly Archives: January 2014

To motivate employees, thank their spouses and families

GiftBasketLast fall I started an occasional series of posts that focused on zero-cost or inexpensive ways to motivate employees – ways to create a positive workplace atmosphere so as to secure your employees’ cooperation and loyalty, and thus improve productivity and performance. Saying thank you and offering employees flexible hours started off that list. Earlier this week, I experienced another way, this time first-hand, when a gourmet food hamper arrived at my front door! It was accompanied by a card – “Please accept this small gesture of my appreciation for your family’s patience and sacrifice during the company’s year-end close” – and it was signed by a senior manager of the company my husband works for. What a pleasant surprise! Continue reading

How to handle employee conflict

CGA0102-2014CoverI often blog and talk about how conflict and disagreement amongst your people is not a bad thing (Why conflict and disagreement are essential for high-performing teams and Minimizing conflict is not always a good thing) but there is a line when “good” employee conflict crosses over into “bad”.  When constant conflict between two or more of your employees is based on personal dislike and only seems to get worse, then it’s time to step in … but not quite in the way you might expect. In my latest article in CGA Magazine, I offer four key things to consider in your quest to get your employees to play nice! Continue reading

Seven steps to ease the transition from friend to boss

Today’s column in The Globe & Mail’s Leadership Lab series:

How to be the boss when your co-workers are your friends

G&M012314Yup, it’s written by yours truly!

If you’re familiar with Canadian media, then you know that The Globe & Mail is the country’s most respected and widely-circulated national newspaper, printed in six cities from coast to coast across Canada.  So I think you’ll understand why I am SO EXCITED to tell you that I have just become their newest columnist! Starting today and approximately once a month from now on, I will be a contributing author for the Leadership Lab series which focuses on the issues and challenges that leaders and managers face every day.

Today’s column focuses on making the sometimes awkward transition from peer to supervisor, a challenge I know is faced by leaders everywhere.  Please take a couple of minutes to read it, and even if this isn’t a situation you’re personally facing, I hope you’ll pass the link on to your staff and colleagues because, sooner or later, this is an issue that every leader comes up against.

Plus, quite frankly, I’m so tickled pink that I’d love your feedback.  Comment right on the Globe & Mail’s site, or comment here.

Yeah, I am excited! And in case you haven’t figured it out already, this is BIG (for me), and I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Taking action on workplace bullying – early bird deadline on January 22

bigstock-bullying-in-the-workplace-agg-34729010Earlier this month, I announced our first online event of this year – Don’t Back Down: Dealing with bullies in the workplace.  Well, the early bird deadline to register is almost here – only two more days to take advantage of significant savings – just until Wednesday January 22.

Whether you’re supervising a bully, or you’re the victim, workplace bullying is costing you!  As a manager, the cost is financial – lower productivity, decreased employee morale, and higher absenteeism and staff turnover.  As a target of bullying, the cost is your mental, emotional and physical health.  And it’s even worse if the bully is your boss!  But whatever your situation, taking action is critical if you want to change the outcome.  And that’s where I can help!

In this live online event, I’ll show you, specifically and in detail, what to watch for, what to do, and what to say in order to deal with the bullies in your work life.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s name calling, teasing, spreading unpleasant rumors, deliberate exclusion, intentional bodily harm, or even cyberbullying.  In one fast-paced, power-packed hour, you’ll learn how to put a permanent stop to the bullying so that you can create a respectful work environment where you, your co-workers and your employees want to work and excel.

Click here to register now

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: Continue reading

Empathetic listening can be difficult

Now THIS is a funny video …

Now some of you will question whether the video is sexist; perhaps (I thought it was funny).  Nevertheless, if you can set that possibility aside, it also illustrates something that I observe often in workplaces.  As leaders, we often see employees struggling with some aspect of their jobs, and our first instinct is to help them solve the problem.  After all, the solution is plainly obvious to us.  If we just helped them solve the problem, all would be well, right? Continue reading

A misstep in decision making isn’t a bad thing!

GPS2If you have a Global Positioning System (GPS) device in your vehicle, you’ve most certainly, at some point or another, heard the condescending and cringe-worthy phrase “Recalculating …” delivered in the dulcet tones of the GPS genie.  Because I’ve heard this phrase more often than I care to admit, I’ve actually cracked the code.  You see “Recalculating …” really means “Hey moron, you missed your exit!” 🙂

All joking aside, despite the honeyed timbre with which it is delivered, most of us wince, at least a little, when we hear “Recalculating”.  Why?  Because it makes us feel stupid.  But really, when you think about it, we shouldn’t feel foolish at all.  Continue reading

Taking action on workplace bullying – live online event on January 29

bigstock-bullying-in-the-workplace-offi-25457597Whether you’re supervising a bully, or you’re the victim, workplace bullying is costing you!  As a manager, the cost is financial – lower productivity, decreased employee morale, and higher absenteeism and staff turnover.  As a target of bullying, the cost is your mental, emotional and physical health.  And it’s even worse if the bully is your boss!

Bullying can take many forms – name calling, teasing, spreading unpleasant rumors, deliberate exclusion, intentional bodily harm, or even cyberbullying.  Whatever your situation, taking action is critical if you want to change the outcome.  But taking action is easier said than done … until now!  On January 29, I’ll be leading a live online event “Don’t Back Down – Dealing with bullies in the workplace” in which you’ll learn, specifically and in detail, what to watch for, what to do, and what to say in order to deal with the bullies in your work life.  In one fast-paced, power-packed hour, you’ll learn how to put a permanent stop to the bullying so that you can create a respectful work environment where you, your co-workers and your employees want to work and excel.

Click here to register now

Don’t wait! If you act by January 22, you can take advantage of early bird savings. Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: Continue reading