Something Missing?

If you are in management or even if you run your own business, your time is one of the most important things that needs to be constantly monitored. With so many responsibilities within the workplace and the consolidation of positions in today’s work environment, having the time to master details about a certain project or finalizing the documentation of a key operations plan may leave you with little time to focus on other important factors of your business. Let’s face it, there is no such thing as a specific job description; if you are a warehouse manager, chances are that your responsibilities have expanded into other fields that once were categorized as other titles within the company. A Warehouse Manager also means handing the tasks of the Facilities Manager. Safety Manager, HR Assistant, Logistics Rep and Production Manager all wrapped up into one title; which can really swallow up valuable time that you no longer have to master the job of mentoring and monitoring your employees.

8324652 If job seekers have not noticed, the world of Human Resources has not escaped the consolidation of job titles; a corporation may have one central location that handles all HR functions for several distribution centers nation wide and may include Risk Management, Benefits, and acting as travel agent for literally hundreds of employees with little or no assistants to help maintain the vast responsibilities of Human Resource functionality. Additionally, corporations and even smaller companies now use computer software programs and outside sourcing for hiring employees which has at least in my own opinion removed the human representation of a company culture by taking away the personalization of employee interaction and finding the best person to fit within the organization.

Progress is not like a box of chocolates…

ATS or the dreaded Applicant Tracking System removes any human involvement in deciding who the next employee will be for the company, no matter how much experience you have as an applicant. You can be the worst manager for the job, but you may be selected for the position if your resume fits the job description that has been selected through an ATS program. Does this sound unfair? Until software can read minds, a modern ATS does what it can to keep hirers sane and save valuable time for an HR manager. Some unfair examples exist, but they exist much more often in email and human error. For many, I find myself wondering if there is something lost instead of something gained using an ATS system and find it frustrating that my future is being decided by a software program. Perhaps I am being naïve, but are humans so inept that they can no longer function without programs such as these? Personally it all leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth and that’s not chocolate I am tasting…

Handling stress while performing all of your functions:

If you ever wondered if your employees know when your are stressed out, chances are they have a few things to say but wont approach you with what they see. There have been times when my subordinates have called me a few names and most of them ending with the last four letters “HOLE”. The hole is a place where things often get lost and when you are stressed out this is where your leadership mentality and values go for a short time and you find yourself feeling guilty that you temporarily lost what people find the most valuable about you. In essence there is something missing and you have decided that for what ever reason, to forget about what is most important to you and what is the most important to your team. It’s not easy to reduce stress, but there are ways to handle stress and focus on what you do best.

• Manage effectively: Resist perfectionism. No project, situation, or decision is ever perfect, so trying to attain perfection on everything will simply add unnecessary stress to your day. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself or try to do too much, you’re setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best, no one can ask for more than that.

• Clean up your act. If you’re always running late, set your clocks and watches fast and give yourself extra time. If your desk is a mess, file and throw away the clutter; just knowing where everything is saves time and cuts stress. Make to-do lists and cross off items as you accomplish them. Plan your day and stick to the schedule — you’ll feel less overwhelmed.

• Flip your negative thinking. If you see the downside of every situation and interaction, you’ll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative-thinking co-workers, and pat yourself on the back about small accomplishments, even if no one else does.

• Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things at work are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

(Source: Tips to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/work_stress_management.htm

As management professionals; we have a responsibility toward our subordinates and the people we are dedicated to serving. It is not just the company we are dedicated to, but the details and ownership of making sure that you motivate your employees and encourage development that invites taking over certain responsibilities that you no longer have time to fulfill. It is important to involve your production team in the development and improvement process so take the time to advise, inform and mentor your employees toward the direction that you want your business to function. Listen to your employees as well as your management team to assure that proper techniques are applied to the development and production requirements that are crucial in maintaining your guidelines for operational success. Delegate and have trust in your people to handle task that are capable of being handled by others in your department, or your business. If there is something missing, chances are you have lost your ability to recognize that you have left it in a hole somewhere and the only way to find it is to crawl in and get your hands dirty. Do not let stress and responsibility stop you from being the leader that you have chosen to be, but rather face it and make the appropriate changes so that you can get back on track to effective management and mentoring those you are responsible for leading.

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