Search

The Best Boss Blog

Best Bosses | HR | Virtual Employment

8 Bad Management Mistakes Made in Pop Culture

This season on Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean, I’ve seen some of the worst leadership and management I’ve seen… ever. It’s so bad that I don’t even like the show but I did watch the entire thing so that I could finish writing this post. Oh, the life of a writer. (I wanted to make a “jump-ship” pun, but it’s just not happening today.)

Here are 7 Mistakes that Bad Managers Made on the show (and that you should avoid in your everyday management):

  1. Only Following Through With Rules When It’s Convenient, Not When the Rule Matters Most: Captain Mark says in one episode his tip policy is “all for one and one for all” to justify dividing Daniel’s “VIP” tip money among the rest of the crew. However, when Daniel gets sick and is unable to work, the Captain accepts Daniels request to give his tip to the rest of the crew. If I were an employee on the ship, I’d immediately recognize that Captain Mark’s “all for one, one for all” rule is merely a rule of convenience, not one of integrity.
  2. Letting Department Managers Bully Inferiors: When the main leader doesn’t abide by his own rules, it’s no wonder that managers like Brian are running loose without oversight. Brian bullies Jules and Hannah into cleaning the interior at midnight. He literally stands over the girls, gets in their face, makes passive aggressive comments, and follows them around the boat when they try to diffuse the situation by walking away.
  3. Don’t Make Sexist Remarks. or be sexist at all. Period: Brian constantly makes sexist and demeaning remarks all season to every woman on board – whether in his department or not – constantly throughout the season.
  4. Know When to Let Things Go: Brian doesn’t know when to let it go. He literally tries everything within his power to get Danny fired – even with only one charter left. How ridiculous and immature does he look while doing this?
  5. Make Sure Managers Don’t Choose Favorites Among Inferiors (that includes no sh*t talking): Brian speaks badly of his inferiors to other inferiors. Last time I checked, manager-led gossip is not appropriate workplace behavior.
  6. Be a Servant Leader, Not a Terrible Person: When the guests ask for Brian, Bobby, and Danny to go party with them off the boat but Captain Mark says only two of the three can go, Brian believes he should go, even though he should actually be managing the boat. This indicates that he’s a self-serving leader, not a servant leader. Don’t do that!
  7. Don’t Promote Bad Managers: After all that, the fact that Captain Mark promotes Brian after all that continues to show the lack of professionalism that exists on the boat and in the show.
  8. Don’t Let Customers Mistreat Employees: I understand that these people pay a lot of money for “5 star service.” But, no employee should have to be publicly insulted the way the crew was with the ever-so-hated customers. Captain Mark should really be more plugged in, or give authority to Hannah to tell the customers it’s not okay to treat people poorly.

In conclusion, by putting #PeopleFirst, by actually wanting to make a difference for others, by sticking up for each other, by treating people equally, and being professional, you can make a better management impression.

Have a great night!

 

 

Advertisements

SHRM16 Annual Conference

I recently returned from my first ever HR trade show and my first ever Annual SHRM Conference. Five whirlwind days of meeting Ultimate Software customers, HR practitioners, and HR bloggers/ social influencers. It was awesome.

I spoke with the Human Resources community about things that trouble them, advice for younger professionals and new college grads, and how to get “in” with different crowds. Here are some things I learned:

  1. Everybody loves Steve Browne. If you don’t know who Steve is, start by reading his blog. It’s called “Everyday People.” But, if you meet Steve, you’ll know he’s anything but ordinary.
  2. Heather Kinzie knows how to kill it in the HR consulting business. If you’re looking for a consultant, she’s your girl. In another blog post, I wrote about a friend who asked me for new-college-grad career advice (Read it here.) While I was at SHRM, I asked for some advice on how to get a job and how to get the pay you’re worth. Heather said “know your worth,” “know the industry,” “know the problems they have” and “be damn resourceful” to solve them, and discuss those issues and solutions to prove your worth. Thanks, Heather!
  3. Make friends, not followers. I’ve spent the last year creating a social media presence and meeting new HR friends on Twitter. (Notice I said “friends” not “followers.”) At SHRM, I made sure to find time to meet the new friends I had made on Twitter. Because of that, I got invited to some parties.
  4. Getting invited to the party is more than half the battle. Side Story – a long time ago I worked in Tallahassee in the Florida State Capital. I worked with a Legislative Assistant who gave me one piece of advice “if you’re invited out by an important work person – go. No matter what.” So I went. When I got there, I met even more friends, got and gave business cards, and was told, “You know, the fact that you even got here means you’re doing the right thing.”
  5. Follow up. By the time I had gotten home, my new friends had already emailed regarding new business opportunities. I followed up on Twitter and via email, depending on the person, and the response was amazing.

Anyway, I’ve now how the time to decompress from SHRM and reflect on my time and I’m so excited for the future. With that said, who’s going to HR Tech?

 

Bad Resume Writers

As a new college grad with an English degree and a full-time job at a great company, friends approach me time to time to help them find a job, fix up resumes, or spruce up LinkedIn accounts. (I should start charging for this. LOL!)

One of my close friends graduated in May and just started her job search. She has management experience in retail, is a great communicator and problem solver, and wants a job for which she can be creative. If you’re looking for a great hire – she’d be an amazing employee.

Anyway, she visited a family-friend who is a career coach and resume writer. When they finished writing her resume, she sent me a copy. It was the worst resume I had ever seen. It made these rookie mistakes:

  1. It was too long. Recruiters spend on average less than 7 seconds reading a given resume. If you don’t believe me, ask Forbes. When a resume is too long, the chance a recruiter sees what you want them to see significantly decreases. Which leads me to # 2…
  2. It included non-essential words. Because you only have a few seconds to make a great first impression, eliminate all non-essential words and really focus on your strengths and experiences.
  3. It included irrelevant information. Art side-projects you did to make a couple bucks in high school should not be on your post-grad resume (unless maybe you’re applying for an art job.) Hopefully by the time you graduate form college, you’ll have enough ‘stuff’ to put on your resume that you can just leave off any high-school related details.
  4. It excluded any form of soft skills. My friend is an amazing communicator, writer, problem solver, and a compassionate manager. Non of that was communicated by her resume.
  5. Her only skills were Microsoft Office and Social Media. WHAT? Oh hell no. How does that differentiate her from every single other college student in America? It doesn’t.

To a recruiter, your resume is a first impression. First impressions in real life matter, and they matter via resumes, as well. Make sure that your resume reflects you, and in a light that puts your best work-boot forward.

Recruiting Practices Fit for a Queen

Social media has become such a big part of society that even the Queen of England realizes its importance. Queen Elizabeth II has three Twitter accounts, a Facebook Page, and a Youtube account, and is looking for a Head of Digital Engagement to help manage her presence.

When I saw Huffington Post’s Facebook post about the job, I immediately become giddy. To be honest, I had no intention of applying. But, my stomach still felt the same butterflies when I got into the University of Florida or when I fell in love.

I mean, I already have a really great job, but I’m also not legally allowed to work in the UK, and I’d have to quit school, and…well let’s just say there were a lot of ands and buts on this list.

In case you didn’t already know, I work in Social Media for an HR tech company. So, even though I am a social media expert who is insanely happy with her job, I decided to apply last minute (and immediately before I wrote this post) to write this blog post about Recruiting Practices Fit for a Queen (All Hail!)

Alright – so although I can’t share the entire experience because of the whole ‘I can’t legally work in the UK’ thing cutting my application process off short, I love MANY things about the Queen’s candidate experience.

For one – the position was easily findable. Every major and minor online news publication (I haven’t checked paper publications) around the world posted about the position. Huff post posted on Facebook, People Magazine, NowThisRefinery29, MSN shared this – I think you get the point. Anyway, with only a Google search, and a few short clicks, from 1/2 way around the world, I was able to find and apply for this position. Now, I know that’s not realistic for most companies, but the point is ‘make your positions available and easily accessible to all.’

Second, and I’ve ALWAYS said this – I love the fact that the Queen included a salary range in the job posting. Everyone who applies knows exactly what they are in for when they submit an application. She even lists the benefits they offer like 33 paid vacation days (nice BTW) the # of hours required each week, and more!

Finally, I loved the fact that I could sign in to submit an application with my LinkedIn account. Way to stay up-to-date! You go girl!

Anyway, that’s pretty much as far as I got until they asked whether I legally could accept this position and work in the UK. But, until then, #AllHailTheQueen.

 

5 Ways Virtual Employees Can Increase Visibility in the Workplace

As a virtual employee, it’s easy to get passed over for the best projects, promotions, and even help with those projects. People really tend to forget virtual employees exist and their work often gets pushed down on the totem poll. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your chances of getting noticed around the office, even if you aren’t exactly around the office. Read how now:

  1. Send daily updates about what you’ve done. Every day, I take notes
    Staying noticed as a virtual employee can be rough. Read these 5 ways to stay top of mind!
    Staying noticed as a virtual employee can be rough. Read these 5 ways to stay top of mind!

    about everything I’ve done. By the end of the day, I usually have a long  list. I send this list to my boss before I sign off. What this does is it keeps me on the top of her mind, ease her mind that work is actually getting done, and updates her on things I may still be waiting on or may need some assistance on.

  2. Celebrate accomplishments loudly. The great think about working in an office is that when you do something great, people can talk about it. It’s hard for people to think about you if you’re not around and participating in the office “water cooler” talk everyday. Don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments. If you’ve done something great, feel free to let your boss know! (Daily recaps can certainly help with this because you can easily write your accomplishments there.)
  3. When you are around the office, go above and beyond to help everyone you can – even if it’s “not your job.” Of course, don’t disobey your boss or help others at the expense of your own work. But, 5 minutes helping a coworker may not kill you. And, sometimes just offering to help is enough.
  4. Talk to everyone in the office, and really care about what they say. Learn about their families, hobbies, and ask them about their interests every time you see them (or regularly.) This will allow you to make friends in many departments and give you something to talk about consistently.
  5. Follow up often. Since you’re far away, when you need to collaborate with coworkers, the chance of your work being “less important” to them increases substantially. To bump yourself up as a priority, follow up on your projects often.

Let me know what you think in the comments below and follow me on Twitter for other HR and career advice topics. Have a great day!

 

Related HR/ Career Advice blogs:

Ask a Manager

Forbes on Virtual Employees

Blogging4Jobs – 8 Tips for Success as a Virtual Employee

How I turned my summer internship into a full time job

Over the summer, I started working for a SUPER AWESOME company as a Social Media Intern.  Everyone there was so happy, friendly, funny, and the company had great perks like catered lunches, a free ice cream and smoothie truck, treadmill desks, ping pong tables, a basketball court, etc. Everything was great. Even my first assignment was fantastic – to improve the company’s Pinterest page. Yes, I got to sit on Pinterest all day at work. I know you’re jealous.

After my internship, I was supposed to enter The College of William and Mary’s full-time MBA program. I was so excited to build new business skills. However, as my internship came to an end, I was heartbroken so to speak. I didn’t want to leave.

As I was ending my internship, the company announced they were looking to hire a Social Media Specialist full time. Here’s how I got the job:

 

  1. Always do more than everyone else expects.
  2. Rather than just working for your boss, help everyone. (Assuming your work is done.)
  3. Be positive. A “Happy Monday!” email can make everyone’s week, and keep you in their mind.
  4. Ask everyone about their day, and listen. Ask them about their families, weekends, relationships, etc.
  5. Ask for the job you want – if your boss doesn’t know you want the job, you’ll never get it.
  6. Take criticism well – if someone asks you to do something better or different, just change. Don’t make a big deal out of something small. Not everyone will love everything you do.
  7. Be flexible. This internship was only supposed to be a 2 month internship. I was supposed to go to school. When the opportunity arose, I jumped.

 

Now, you might be wondering what happened with the MBA program. When I accepted my position, I transferred to the part-time program for working professionals.

So…if you’re reading, I hope this helps you land your dream job, too!

 

How Universities Fail Liberal Arts Students

In other posts I share that I majored in English at the University of Florida. I took Speechwriting, Fiction Writing, Poetry Writing, Literature in Science, Internet Literature, and many other ridiculously cool classes. From each of those classes, I learned to write quite beautifully (if I do say so myself) and a few other interesting skills. I am not going to trash English majors. Honestly, I loved my major. I loved the freedom I had to take the classes I wanted, the skills I learned to write in many different contexts, and the brilliant professors that guided me through my collegiate journey. But as graduation approached, I couldn’t help but think “what now?” Toward the end of my journey, I discovered the unfortunate missing link existing in the chain of university liberal arts educations.

What universities are missing is the fact that people go to college to learn skills to make a living. You can talk “career resource centers this” and “career management centers that.” The point is, you can learn how to write, but where do you head from there? In my opinion, universities don’t teach liberal arts students how to use their skills to make money. Although some arts majors are “purists” and would never take courses that might remove “purity” from art, by not offering some level of “How to make money by writing” courses, a large number of students are left stranded with their “useless” degrees.

In every college major poll, liberal arts majors are always missing from lists related to majors “most wanted,” “most valued,” or “most likely to make money from.” And, the reality is universities could do a much better job at ensuring liberal arts students’ success by teaching courses catering to making a living. How easy would it be to add a course “How to write, self-publish, and sell a book?” By the end of that course, students would literally have their own book from which they could make money! Imagine if my “Internet Literature” (aka blogging) class was actually a “How to write a blog that will make you millions” class? Every kid in that class would have sponsorships and a legitimate business while still in school.

I honestly feel blessed to have learned the skills I did in college. And, I truly believe that the skills I learned are needed and valued in the world. I just wish I had learned how to create that value in work through my very expensive education.

Things to Do on Sunday to Make Your Work Mornings Easier

Happy Sunday! Here are some things I do on Sundays that make my work week easier!

1. Do all laundry for the week and set out outfits for the week

Having pre-set outfits allows you to skip the “I have nothing to wear today” problem. It allows you to plan for meetings, for post-work events, and allows you to dress your best even on mornings that are a drag.

2. Go grocery shopping for the week

When you go grocery shopping, buy healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack foods that you will actually want to eat. By doing so, you will probably eat healthier and you might even spend less by not going out to eat!

3. Pre-pack Monday’s breakfast and lunch

By setting up your breakfast and packing your lunch in the morning you prevent the unhealthy and costly “I’ll just go out to eat for lunch today” thoughts. And, by including snacks in your lunch, you may even prevent your usual “2 PM crash.”

FYI: This will require you to bring a lunch box to work. Here are some cute, insulated lunch boxes on Etsy.  (This post is NOT sponsored by Easy and does not endorse any of the products below.) https://www.etsy.com/market/insulated_lunch_bag

Enjoy the rest of your day and have a great week!

The Best Boss Blog

 

We always hear about terrible HR and Boss stories. As we head into 2017, I’m hoping we can all be more positive. With that said, I want HR to focus on things all the things that have gone right.  Feel free to share any awesome HR or “Best Boss” stories here.

Featured post

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑