Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Millennials and Our Future

February 22, 2018

Millennials are now seen as the largest workforce within the workplace. Most Millennials are the children of Baby Boomers, which had been seen as the largest generation for decades. Many believe that the generation of Millennials are 'bratty' or 'self-centered', but new research has been steering away from such terms.

Nowadays this generation is seen to be the innovative generation. Think about it. Social Media platforms over the past 10 years have been the brainchild of the top end of Millennials. More research is showing this generation will continue to expand the boundaries and rules we typically think of when we think of workplace dynamics.

I found this info-graphic to be very interesting, since the majority of my one-on-one coaching clients are Millennials looking to find a better balance between work life, social life, and family life. Several of my clients are looking to find innovative companies to work at that will challenge that to be better humans both inside the office and outside the office. My clients want to know that their work is valued, their skills are valued, and their humanity is valued as well.

One of my clients sent me this info-graphic and I found it be very insightful. It ties nicely with the other info-graphic that is part of this article. The year 2020 is just 2 short years away and this generation will make up 50% of the workforce! Working alongside them will be more common than it is. As my one-on-one coaching clients continue to be in this generation, I am thankful that they open my eyes to how workplaces will be in the future.

Another aspect of this generation and workplace is how often they decide to work for themselves. They immerse themselves into the workplace only to find that they are too keen on the 9-to-5 mindset. They also are more open to new opportunities. Parts of this generation also tend to trust only themselves with finances, so going into business for themselves is also seen often. Finally, this generation wants to truly change the world. They want to make an impact on the world .... from their backyard to their neighborhood to their city to their state. This generation thinks local to expand global.

As 2018 continues to present new opportunities to this generation, I am excited to see what they do with all this new wonder. My one-on-one coaching clients continue to keep me on my toes and help me better understand how to guide them to chase their dreams and fall among the stars. If you are Millennial and are in a transitional state within your career path, please reach out to me. I can help you find the best path for your goals, dreams, and heart.

Writing on the Whiteboard

February 16, 2018

We have all heard of the “writing on the wall”. You know … the feeling that your time is limited in your current position or that your career with your current company is doomed. How can one tell if the current company or position you are in may be limited? In the day of creative discrimination often facilitated by a highly politicized organization, it is not uncommon for certain demographics to be “worked out of the organization”. Today, this is more like the “Writing on the Whiteboard”. And this white board is constantly changing. Your name can be erased as quick as a swipe.

The following are my “writing on the whiteboard” signs that your longevity with an organization will soon become a dream lost of the past. To be proactive about your career, become skilled at seeing the political red flags and strategically plan to make a move before the move is made for you.

The CEO Keep and Chop List

In some organizations that do not have the healthiest of cultures, the CEO keep and chop list. It is not uncommon for the CEO and the C-Suite to have identified “The List” of those leaders that are super stars and those leaders that are expected to move on. Depending on the size of the organization, this list could be 5 – 30 names long. Often, your own HR department may not be aware of the “secret list”. And at times, your own leader is not aware of the “secret list” since your own leader may be perceived as having a performance issue themselves, it is not uncommon they are completely unaware of potential talent changes on the horizon including your position.

Recommendation: Ask questions of your leader and senior leader how they see your future in the organization. If the response is evasive or unclear, this may be a sign your future is not long term in the organization.

Your Placement within the Succession Management – Do you know where you fall?

Another sign your future is limited, is when you have zero clue what your advancement opportunities are within the organization. A majority of large organizations coordinate something called succession management where talent is determined where they fall on a chart. This chart is a grid that identifies if someone is a super star ready for advancement, well placed, or needs to go. Unfortunately, many people and leaders are not aware of these discussions or charts and where they fall. Often the person that is planned “to go” are not on any performance management process and are completely unaware they are on the “to go” list.

Recommendation: Ask your leader if there is a succession management process and where you fall within this process. If your leader is unaware, contact HR and ask if this process is in place within the organization. A healthy employer would be transparent with you and where you fall in the succession management process would not be a secret.

Office Politics – Are you in or out?

If you are driving home at night frustrated and waking up at 2:00 am stressing about the office politics that seem to be directed at you, your name may be on the white board of the chop list. Sadly, even in the work environment – high school behavior happens. Gossip. Back stabbing. Pulling the rug out from under those next in promotion. Sudden write ups from interim leaders who want the next promotion is a common occurrence.

Recommendation: Call it as you see it. Be up from if you think office politics is happening. Let you leader know you suspect it is happening to you and document the conversation. Document toxic behaviors you are personally being subjected to and be factual when bringing the issue forward. A healthy employer will address office politics and help employees when they are struggling with the dynamics impeding success and productivity.

Fearful for standing up for what is right ?

If you feel fearful for standing up for what is right, there may be a problem. If you do not feel secure and feel trust going to your co-worker, supervisor, human resources department, and compliance department – this may be a sign that the employer you chose to work with is not the healthiest. If you are observing those that blew the whistle and called out unlawful or things that needed to be addressed, suddenly disappear after a few months – then you may be next if you decide to speak up about an issue.

Recommendation: Be clear about policies regarding bringing forward concerns, issues, unethical, and compliance matters. Have open and honest discussions with your leader when you are seeing problems. Know the proper reporting processes. And if you do not trust these reporting processes, consider making career changes.

Are you Not clear on expectations?

If you are not clear on expectations of your performance or a role, this may be a sign you are on the short list. Often new employees have not seen a position description or know what the essential function of their job is. Often the performance evaluation is the first time employees learn they have not met expectations as perceived by their leader. There is another issue where the leader simply assumes the employee knows what the expectations are. Expectations change often and organizations that have difficulty communicating clear expectations will have mass team and individual confusion on what is expected on the job. Frustration at all levels may occur because the organization is not meeting objective and position changes may occur including yours.

Recommendation: If you are not clear about performance expectations, ask your leader for expectations in writing. Check often throughout the year to see if you are on the same page with expectations and your performance or perceived performance. Do not wait until performance review time to address a lack of alignment around expectations and your actual performance. Remember, you may be an excellent performer now but may change on a dime due to changes in the organization, changes in senior leadership, or political issues happening in the work environment.

This is just a short list of the signs that there is “Writing on the White Board” for you. You may find you work with a healthy employer! Awesome :) Or you may find you need to find a healthy employer to work with. It is always best to have a career business strategy in advance if your starting to suspect your name is being crossed off or erased on a white board in the executive board room. Message me if you are looking for a coach, mentor, and support with your career strategy or simply wanting to meet an HR leader with a heart. I have personal experience with the white boards and the executives that don't like certain people and talent without a true understanding of hard work, talent, and dedication of those they make assumptions off due to office politics. It can be just as corrupt as the politics we see in our political environment.

I am offering complimentary support since I am an HR leader with a heart. Let me know if I may help you navigate through the challenge of finding the right place and the right fit for you. Your talent, skills, expertise, and knowledge can be valued, honored, and appreciated in the right organization. Life is too short to expend your gifts with a company that takes advantage of them and puts you on a short list or wipes your name away...


Letter From a Retired Nurse

February 6, 108

I had the pleasure of receiving a hand written letter from a retired nurse. We keep in contact on Facebook and I asked her if she had any ideas for making a healthier workplace for Nurses. What a gift to receive a hand written letter.

Enjoy!

~ Char

Dear Char, January 25th, 2018

Hello! You asked me on Facebook message if I had any ideas for making a healthier workplace for Nurses. It seemed like I might have a long answer to I am writing to you instead…

No one goes into nursing as a career because it is easy. If they do, they don’t last at it. They go into it to care for people. It is both physically and emotionally draining at times, yet it is one of the most rewarding careers. When you go home at the end of the day, you feel as if you have made a difference in people’s lives.

From my own experience of 28 years of working in hospitals, I started and ended my day with “transition time”. On my drive to work which usually took about 20 minutes, I mentally prepared for my shift. I went over scenarios and expectations. When I left at the end of my shift, I would try to leave it all behind which as times is difficult. Sometimes, I would stop at the park and read or watch the geese on the lake. I remember once after the death of a patient, I walked into my house, went into the bathroom, and cried into a towel. Many a night I would wake up and remember something I had forgotten to do or chart. There is a lot of emotion that you have to keep a lid on all day to do your job well. It doesn’t mean you don’t get sad or angry, but you do need an outlet for this. Sometimes, it may be your husband when you get home. It was great to have a dog lick my hand and greet me when I got home like he understood.

Physically, you are mostly on your feet for 8 – 12 hours a day. You are lifting and transporting patients and equipment. I found myself not wanting to drink fluids, so I wouldn’t have to take time to use the restroom. Many a nurse doesn’t have time to take needed breaks or a full mealtime. You eat quickly on the rush. In fact, I still do. I am always done eating when my husband is only half way through.

So, you ask how CEO’s can improve the work environment? Not sitting at his desk all day. I think a CEO need to be present, approachable, a good listener and observer outside of his office. At a 100-bed hospital that I worked at we had a great CEO. He made rounds everyday to each department and Nurse Stations to see how things were going. He ate lunch with the employees in the cafeteria always sitting with different groups of people. We knew who he was. He was approachable if you had a problem that wasn’t solved through the usual chain of command.

Quiet Place- Nurses and all employees and all employees need a quiet place to reflect and just get away for awhile if needed. I would go outside and just get away for awhile if needed. I would to the hospital chapel. A break room with some amenities like peaceful music would be nice.

Recognition – people need to receive praise or recognition for a job well done. It should come more often than at their yearly performance review or evaluation. I remember our Director of Nurses giving every nurse a little plastic case with a mirror inside. One the outside it said, “Nurses are beautiful especially mine”, then his name at the bottom. I still have mine. It is the little things that means the most. If recognition is given in the form of a gathering or celebration, it is important that all shifts are able to participate. I also feel that departments and higher ups should he evaluated by those under them, anonymously would be the best. They need recognition too.

Interpersonal and Political Issues the work place is a difficult subject as each circumstance is so different. So many people have to work together to make up a team. You just have to try to get along and put petty things outside. As my husband always told me … “get up, go to work, do your job, and come home”.

Horizon I think everyone needs something in the horizon to look forward to and work toward. Be it your vacation, raise, more education, promotion, or retirement. Your workplace can provide some of this but everyone has their own individual goal.

Other Ideas A float pool of nurses to provide adequate coverage for patients so you could take your allotted time for breaks and meals.

Nurse Exchange – spending some time in a different hospital in the same type of unit to see how things are done there and bringing back different ideas.

Child Care – I suppose larger hospitals may provide some of this but many times a nurse may have to leave early or not be able to come in thus leaving shifts shorthanded. It is really hard on single parents.

Human Resources - years ago was called Personnel. Resources sounds like a commodity in the stock exchange. The “person” is missing. I remember one standing outside the Nursing office after someone had called in sick hearing her say “I don’t care who you get, just get me a body in here by 3:00 pm”. I think maybe Human Services sounds better. Humans serving the place that they work and the place that they work serving them. Don’t know if any of my input helps Char but maybe just interesting reading.

Happy Trails!

Love Nurse D.

A Healthier Society on the Horizon

February 6, 108

Here is what I am thinking of what will help us be a healthier society today:

1) Take care of our environment. Are there improvements needed to take care of our environment? If so what can we do to improve?

2) Drink more water and stay hydrated with pure clean quality water. Does your employer assure employees are hydrated?

3) Avoid working for unhealthy and toxic employers and help our children and families do the same. Career strategy is as important as a business strategy. This also includes those that retire as life planning is key to happiness in retirement years. And no... companies do not need to lay off older employees and exploit younger employees as "cheaper labor".

4) Assure we all have good health coverage and benefits even if you are not employed. There are options other than your typical "insurance" options.

5) Take vitamins, nutrients, and essential fatty acids as our diet and soils do not provide these as part of our regular diet. Look for holistic health options and find experts in this area to assist you with your health. Pharmaceuticals are not the answer to health. Look for proactive health options beyond traditional health care.

6) Families and employers to replace all toxic chemicals in the environment with chemical free, no formaldehyde, no phthalates, and green household, bath, and cleaning products. There is no need to live in a toxic environment.

7) Attempt to stay as fit as possible at any age and this does not mean be a body builder, have the tightest abs, or be a size 2. Encourage our youth and those in golden years to be active and help them to feel comfortable doing so.

8) Have a family emergency preparedness plan. If you are watching media these days - this becomes more and more clear why. Employers should help staff with a emergency preparedness plan.

9) Have a goal of being debt free with perhaps a "traditional job" and a plan B of investment, entrepreneurial opportunity, or plan to bring you and your family residual income.

10) Build community. Take care of one another. There is enough hate in our society... only surround yourself that are positive and care for a better world overall.

11) Stay true to your personal beliefs and respect others for theirs. Love should always be our center. ️

I believe we need to expand wellness awareness as a society and I am encouraged that there is a momentum building. Speak up if you feel your employer and community needs to change.