Dreading The Termination of An Employee?

Five Ways to Ensure Employees are Laid Off in the Most Humane and Respectable Way!

Woman dreading terminationLaying people off is uncomfortable and emotionally draining. After all, you’re human! Goodness knows you wouldn’t want to be them, going home to face their families. You worry that they’re going to have one heck of a time finding another job, or a job that pays as well, or a manager who will be sympathetic to their special needs… or anything else that weighs on your mind about releasing them.

Here are five things you can do to alleviate some of the stress you personally feel when laying off employees:

  1. Treat them with the utmost respect! Be kind. Even if you believe they deserve to be let go, “let it go.” Terminated employees will always remember “how” they were told and how they were treated. The sting of being notified that their job is being eliminated will never leave their memory. Never! More legal retribution is sought by terminated employees due to how they were treated at the time of the notification than for any other reason.
  2. Don’t let a “stranger” or some unknown person notify the employee that their job has been eliminated. This news should come from someone who the employee knows and who has personally interacted with the employee during the normal course of their work day. Do your best to insist that your employees are notified by a familiar face.
  3. Have personal knowledge about the outplacement benefit you have arranged for employees and encourage them to take advantage of it. Provide separated employees with outplacement benefits from a company that you can honestly say will give them the greatest level of support.
  4. Oftentimes, HR uses an outplacement firm that is the most convenient, or the cheapest, without making an effort to understand the difference in services. It’s in the best interest of the company to encourage employees to use the outplacement services! Better to have your separated employees focus on the future with a career consultant than to be bitter, smoldering and venting on the Internet or with the attorneys they have called.
  5. Drop the hard party lines. Don’t escort an employee out the door with their cardboard box of personal items for all their peers and the company to see. If they have been impacted by a true reduction in force, and not terminated for cause, then let’s not give the impression that this is a punitive action. Make arrangements for employees to save face and come back after hours (or during certain hours) to clean out their desks. Or offer them the option of having someone they trust remove their personal items for them.

Now, a last, but certainly not least, word about this. Ask yourself the question: “If I were to be terminated, how would I want this experience to go down for me?” Then do what you can to treat others the way you would want to be treated yourself.

Is Your Business Courting the GenY Demographic?

Listen Up! One size does NOT fit all!

GenY is challenging all of the notions about everything. This includes doing business. We young adults are charting a new course, much like our parents and grandparents did when they were young.

Is your business already offering products and services to GenY? If not, would you like to? If you answered affirmatively to either question, here are a few facts you need to know about GenY and our impact on business. I’m betting some of them will surprise you:

  • Accenture Research says by 2020 GenY will spend $1.4 trillion.
  • 45% of GenY spend at least one hour daily online on retail sites, researching products and comparing prices.
  • Yet, 81% of GenY’s retail spending actually occurs in stores.

GenY ShoppingMy generation of shoppers is completely changing old business tricks-of-the-trade. We shop while multi-tasking on our phones, and by the time we buy, have already researched the products of interest on Amazon.

We’re not going to adapt to your old-fashion ways of doing business. So how can your business and team adapt to the way we buy and the trends we’re creating?

Evaluate your business with a fresh perspective.

  • Ask trusted friends or their young adult children to secretly shop your business when you’re absent.  How will your team stack up? How they respond to these “strangers” gives you feedback about customer perception.
  • What do review sites like Yelp! say about your business? If you aren’t sure, or if you don’t have an account, register! GenY values peer input, and we continually refer to these sites to see what others say about you.
  • We enjoy buying items online, but love to pick up our purchases in-store. Do you offer this option to online consumers? Getting me into the store results in impulse buying of in-store deals. It’s a win-win for both of us!
  • Printed coupons are passe’!!  Online coupons are easily accessible on my mobile device.

In the past, consumers were categorized by traditional demographic markers such as age and ethnicity, but we expect diversity as the new norm. Gender roles are a thing of the past. Purchasing patterns and ideals are the new markers. How can you ensure your business is adapting to the new trends? At your next staff meeting, create charts to visually show your customer base. They should have three different categories:

  • Generational
  • Diversity
  • Percent of males and females

These may be eye-opening for your team. Use it as a springboard for appeal to the demographics that frequent your business.

Millennial consumers are eager to drive your revenues. Technology has rapidly shaped our lives and how we shop. Personalized retail experiences that anticipate our wants and needs are important to us. Google does it, why not you?

Finally, we like good ol’fashioned courting, with a 21st century twist.

  • Offer great deals for mass couponing options from sites like Groupon and Living Social.
  • Free Wi-Fi will keep me in your store longer. Who knows what impulsive buys I’ll make while I linger?
  • Be present on social media sites – 63% of GenY stay updated through this network.
  • Create seamless transitions from online to in-store shopping.

To ignite GenY loyalty, remember these tips. We’re doing business in a whole new way. Come on board!

Rejected! Ouch! Four ways to interpret the meaning of “No.”

Pic of woman giving a thumbs downIf you have never suffered rejection, (Believe it or not some of us haven’t!! What’s up with that?) I hope you never will. Most of us have suffered rejection at some point in our lives. From the young love who dumps us to the job interview that bombs, rejection brings us dashed hopes, confusion, embarrassment, and a big question mark: “Why?”

Leave it to Winston Churchill to give us a pick-me-up after rejection. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” When we’re close to giving up, perhaps because of a few rejections in job search, let this be a mantra. Then, take an objective look at your interviews, and forge ahead.

What you need after rejection is a change in perception about what rejection means. It’s usually not just about “No.” Consider this action plan to heal your ego, and then come out swinging:

First, if you want a benchmark for your rejection rate, this published author would like to remind you of the number of times writers suffer rejection. (Like, constantly!)Then there are filmmakers, actors, basket ballplayers,(Michael Jordan figures he blew 9000 shots.) and Colonel Sanders. Realize, like sales, every time you’re rejected you’re closer to “yes.” It’s a numbers game. Rejection gives you the impetus to hone your interview presence.

Second, debrief interview specifics with an experienced job search coach. It’s an objective review. Perhaps you didn’t crash and burn. Every interview has a backstory that can drive results.

What if one interviewer didn’t want to participate but was told to? Couldn’t their disgruntled disinterest skew the results?

What if there’s a company employee who’s been promised the job, but corporate executives want to “go through the outside interview process” before giving him/her the title? Imagine their angst about a potentially stellar outside candidate who shuts them out? Either way, bodies will litter the playing field.

Next, take a look at what rejection really means. It rarely means you’re unqualified, and holds valuable lessons for your next interview. Tom Hopkins, author of When Buyers Say No, (You’re selling yourself!) says in Success magazine, the message of a “no” can be one of these things:

  • Could the interviewers be confused? Maybe they’re not sure about what you bring to the table. Could you be more concise in your next interview?
  • Is now not a good time? If a work issue demands grinding days and pressure is on the interviewer, perhaps he/she can’t focus. You might be a great candidate, but they’re too distracted.
  • Do the interviewers like you, but aren’t sure? Maybe there’s a small thing about you giving them hesitation. Perhaps you were closer to acing the interview than you think.
  • Is there a back story? See “debriefing” paragraph above.

Finally, Perhaps it is you. Ouch! However, you’ve probably interviewed people who weren’t the right candidates! Give it your best shot next time.

Tom Hopkins says, “no’s” let you create new pathways to where you want to go. I like the expression, “When one door closes, another opens.” An open door awaits you. Go find it!

A Fast “Top Ten” List for Interviewing Success

A really quick, really smart guide to preparing for what a Hiring Manager wants to see!

Okay, you’ve dotted all your “i”s and crossed all your “t”s. You’ve made it to the interviewing round! Now, you get to meet the elusive mortal – the hiring manager. Here are ten things you MUST do to make a great first impression and outshine your competition. Interviewee shaking hands with hiring manager

#1 Show enthusiasm. It’s the key to a great interview. A positive attitude is a reflection on what your personality will bring to the working environment. Show you are alert and excited about this opportunity.

#2 Dress the part. When you dress the part, it’s easy for the hiring manager to visualize you as his or her newest employee. If you need some guidance on how to professionally dress for an interview, download the FREE Power Connections Professional Attire Guide for a more detailed description of what’s acceptable in today’s working environments.

#3 Master the handshake. It’s your first contact with hiring managers, so make sure you give a firm handshake while looking into their eyes. Of course you’ll be smiling during this first interaction! A firm handshake signals you mean business, that you’re confident, and you’re willing to take charge.

#4 Be extra courteous to EVERYONE! You honestly don’t know who might be watching the “newbies” as they come through the door and sit in the waiting area. Smile at those who walk past, say hello when appropriate, and be mindful that you might be on a security camera. You can bet a hiring manager will ask the front office staff who the courteous candidates were for that day.

#5 Show “R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Find out what it means to me.” Offer a professional greeting by standing up straight and addressing people as Mr. or Ms., unless told otherwise. A little bit of admiration can go a long way.

#6 Adopt a “can do” attitude. This makes anything possible. If in your interview an obstacle arises, look at it from the “I can” point of view. It’s not who we are that holds us back, but who we think we’re not.

#7 Keep a sense of humor. We’re attracted to happy, optimistic people. When appropriate, offer a clever quip and DO laugh at the hiring manager’s attempt at humor. After all, laughter is the best antidote to calm nerves.

#8 Have a few common interview questions already scripted in your mind so you answer confidently during the interview. Your “Tell me about yourself” answer should not start off with “Uuummmm….”

#9 Know how you can add value to the company once hired. This will require a bit of pre-interview research, but will be impressive to weave into the interview discussion.

#10 Be smart. Be honest. Be yourself. You’ll land the career that’s best for you!