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How to Deal with Difficult People at Work

 

You are likely to come across a difficult coworker at some point in your IT career. This can happen to anyone at any company. How you deal with the coworker depends on your personality and the support you receive from colleagues, coworkers, and leaders. The sooner you take action to handle the issue, the sooner you may start experiencing results.

Choose among these suggestions to help you effectively deal with a difficult coworker.


Focus on Yourself

Make sure your coworker truly is causing a problem and you are not simply overreacting. Perhaps you commonly experience a similar issue with the same type of person or behavior. Or, maybe you see a pattern in your interactions with coworkers. This may mean you have a hot button that easily is pushed.

Talk with a Colleague

Find out whether a trusted colleague is noticing or experiencing similar issues with the coworker. Ask for an objective observation about the issue. If your colleague agrees that the problem exists, discuss some ways to professionally address it.

Meet with the Coworker

Discuss the issue with the coworker who is creating it. Use “I” messages to focus on your experiences of the situation. Explain the impact their actions have on you. Remain pleasant and agreeable during the discussion. Try to reach an agreement about one or two positive actions to engage in going forward.

The coworker may not be aware of their actions or how you feel about them. They might agree to consider changing their pattern of interacting in the way you described. Or, the coworker could decide not to do anything differently.

Point Out the Coworker’s Behavior

If you do not feel comfortable talking privately with the coworker, use humor to publicly address their behavior. Perhaps you can salute your coworker after an interaction. Or, you might place your hand over your heart to show that their words wounded you. Then, ask the coworker to consider using more positive words or behavior going forward.

Follow Up

Focus on whether the coworker’s behavior gets better, worsens, or does not change going forward. Determine whether a follow-up talk may make a difference. Focus on how badly you want to make peace with the coworker and keep your job.

Talk with a Manager

Determine whether you want to discuss the coworker’s behavior with your manager or the coworker’s manager. Be sure to write down notes clarifying the issue and how it impacts your productivity. Plan to participate in follow-up discussions as well.

Limit Your Interactions

Spend as little time as possible in situations that may involve interacting with the coworker. Avoid working with them on projects, voluntary committees, and other circumstances whenever you can. Transfer to another role within the organization if possible.

Find a New Job

If the coworker decides not to change, work with RightStone to find a new job. Here is a link to our job board.


How to Focus on Diversity & Inclusion in Your Recruiting Efforts

 

The more diverse and inclusive your company is, the more competitive it is. The blending of team members from different cultures, genders, and backgrounds provides greater innovation, problem-solving, and goal attainment than working with more homogenous team members. Your diverse team is better equipped to provide different viewpoints and develop unique ideas than a homogenous team. This elevates collaboration, engagement, morale, and retention. These are reasons why diversity and inclusion need to be priorities within your organization.

Implement these tips to make your recruitment process more diverse and inclusive.


Focus on Your Leadership Demographics

Analyze the leaders occupying the top roles in your organization. Determine whether they reflect the demographics of the communities you serve. Include what your leaders’ succession planning pipeline looks like. Think about whether this involves women and people of color. You want to hire and promote employees in these two groups to line roles and executive positions as much as possible.

The more women and people of color you have in revenue-generating and decision-making roles, the more your company will attract and retain diverse candidates. Offering employee resource programs and other sources of support for these groups increases your level of inclusivity.

Reduce Unconscious Biases

Train everyone involved in your hiring process to uncover and modify their hidden aversions to specific types of candidates. These biases mostly are shaped by individual experiences and typically result in wrong assumptions.

For instance, use gender-neutral language in your job descriptions. This includes the omission of words such as “supportive” or “aggressive.” The former tends to attract more female candidates, whereas the latter tends to attract more male candidates. Avoiding gendered words typically attracts a more balanced number of female and male applicants to your job openings.

Include in your job description only the necessary skills and qualifications for the role. Whereas women typically apply for a position they feel 100% qualified for, men typically apply for a job they feel 70% qualified for. Listing only the most important skills and qualifications increases the balance of female and male applicants for your position.

Eliminate the names, schools attended, and other personally identifying information on the resumes you receive. This causes your hiring team to focus on the skills, experience, and qualifications of your applicants when deciding who to interview. Women and people of color are more likely to be contacted and potentially hired by your organization, which increases diversity.

Emphasize Your Employee Resource Groups

Include throughout your recruitment process information about the resources you provide to support your employees. Details about your employee resource groups (ERGs) and other inclusivity programs show you care about your team members from all backgrounds. Knowing that all employees are valued members of your organization helps attract and retain diverse talent.

Want More Diverse IT Candidates?

RightStone has IT professionals of different backgrounds ready to fill your business needs. Contact us today.


Happy Employees Are More Productive

 

As a manager, are you aware of the link between your employees’ happiness and their productivity levels? Studies show that happy employees work harder, collaborate better, and accomplish more in less time than unhappy employees. As a result, you should do what you can to encourage high levels of happiness among your team.

Learn how employee happiness levels impact productivity and what you can do to increase both.


Elevated Performance

The University of Warwick conducted a study where participants were given either 10-minute comedy videos to watch or drinks and snacks to consume to help them feel happy. The control group received nothing. The participants then were given tasks to complete.

The results of the study showed that the happier participants were 12% more productive than the control group. The participants who increased their happiness levels before completing the tasks performed at a higher, more accurate level than the participants who did not.

These results demonstrate that having a positive frame of mind elevates work performance. Happier employees are more likely to show up each day and give their best efforts. They also are less likely to experience high levels of stress or burnout.

Increased Efficiency

The University of Oxford conducted a study that tracked call-to-sale conversions, attendance, and customer satisfaction for call center employees at a British multinational telecommunications firm over a 6-month period. The employees self-reported their level of happiness each week.

The results showed that the happy employees were proven to be 13% more productive than the unhappy employees. The happy employees worked faster, made more call-to-sale conversions per hour worked, and more closely adhered to their workflow schedule than the unhappy employees.

These results demonstrate that employees with a positive emotional state can finish more work in the same amount of time than employees with a negative emotional state. This means you should do what you can to promote happiness among your employees.

Steps to Increase Happiness

You can take action to increase the levels of happiness among your team members. For instance, model professional behavior at all times. The more you interact with others in a respectful manner, the more likely your team members are to follow your example. Also, provide fair compensation. Your team members deserve to be rewarded for their contributions and results. Additionally, give constructive feedback in real-time. Your team members need to know what they are doing well, which areas they need to do better in, and specific ways to improve their performance. Plus, acknowledge your team members’ accomplishments with bonuses, raises, and promotions. This motivates them to continue to perform their best and accomplish business goals.

Need to Increase Your Team’s Productivity?

Talk with RightStone about adding a member to your team. Get in touch today.


Leveraging a Staffing Firm During High Unemployment

Over the last year, the U.S. has watched the unemployment rate take some deeply worrying turns. Although unemployment is now bouncing back slowly, the consequences of mass layoffs and upended industries are still making themselves known.

A staffing firm can be a valuable ally during times of turbulence, including this period of high unemployment. Here’s why working with a staffing firm could be the right business decision for your company.

Staffing Firms Hire Faster at a Lower Cost

With more people out of work, more talented candidates are on the hunt for a new role. As a result, you’re more likely to see a deluge of applications for every open post, which complicates the hiring process.

Staffing firms are more adept at sorting through large applicant pools, including greater numbers of unqualified applicants. They also have existing talent pools that they can leverage to shorten the time from job advertisement to hire.

In short, staffing firms have the resources to shorten the time to hire and manage hiring during high unemployment while staying on budget.

Staffing Firms Help Manage the Risk of Hiring

High unemployment often coincides with a difficult business environment in which organizations need more staff, but the associated costs can be a risk.

Staffing firms can work with you to fill contract roles that allow you to get the help needed without committing to permanent roles with benefits. Temp-to-Hire can be a smart option if you see the need extending in the medium to long-term, but your tolerance for risk is low for the short term.

Additionally, recruiters have a keen eye for the hiring process. They’re better able to find you better quality Temp-to-Hire or contract consultants, which add value to your business and are more likely to turn into long-term partnerships when the time is right.

Get Started with Hiring Experts

High unemployment grants businesses access to more talent with less competition, but these periods of instability rarely leave businesses themselves unscathed. Working with a strategic partner to manage your talent pipeline can ensure you mitigate risk and stay on budget while also ensuring you get the help you need in the office.

Get in touch to learn more about RightStone nurtures consultant and client relationships to find the right fit every time.


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