Want to be a Good Boss? Don’t Friend or Follow Your Staff on Social Media

THUMB-WORDSDeveloping trust is a crucial element to maintaining employee loyalty. What your staff does outside working hours is none of your business. Yes, that’s right; NONE of your business. Let’s say you have accepted a friend request or followed an employee on one of these social sites and you find that they were out all night partying and you have an important meeting the next day. Now you walk into work with some preconceived notion that they will either call in late or come to work and not be able to fulfill their responsibility.  Having such a negative assumption already lays the foundation for a bad experience at work. Now you have to think, is that more of an issue with the employee or the boss?

As a boss, you must always work under the assumption that people will do what they are paid to do. Let them prove you wrong. Until then, it is your job to have the expectation that they will perform as required. When you are aware of what they do outside of work, it is only human nature that you begin to associate that with what they do during working hours. It’s not your job to be mommy or daddy. It is your job to be the boss. You can’t be a boss and a babysitter (although sometimes it feels like we manage children).

Being a good boss requires you to approach every situation with a positive outcome in mind. Your judgment cannot become clouded by that half-naked picture of an employee you saw online minutes before your most important meeting. You must maintain control and focus of your work and not allow your connection with employees on social media to cause you to make bad judgment decisions.

Sure there are rules and policies forbidding employees from doing certain things while on social media and those are rules that should be adhered to; however it is not the responsibility of the boss to follow employees on social media to make sure they are following those rules. The expectation is that they will comply and that expectancy should remain consistent unless or until they prove you wrong. You will save yourself from a world of unnecessary stress and confusion if you leave work at work and home life at home.

Just think, if an employee is found to be “misbehaving” on social media and it turns out to become bad press for the company and you are associated with that employee (i.e. on their friends list, or following them) the finger-pointing goes in your direction too. You’ll find yourself being asked questions like: “Why didn’t you bring this to our attention sooner?”; “How long have you known about this?”; “Shouldn’t you have seen this coming?” Then you sit back and think….when did I become responsible for his/her behavior? The answer: when you began connecting with them on social media. My dear friend; the assumption is that you are still responsible for your staff once you put yourself in a situation that will make you aware of their outside activities. Do you want to be in that situation? I’d guess the answer is no.

My advice, save your time and energy; ignore friend/connection requests from employees.WINE GLASS-1

Cheers!

 
This is water by the way! :-) >>

All the best,

Mary V. Davids

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Should You Use Your Personal Cell Phone for Business?

To eliminate costs employers frequently give employees the option of using their personal cell phones to conduct work activity. Many employees find it easier to use their personal device of preference over using a company device they “don’t like” so this option is often a great medium for both. Here’s the catch-22 -employers may have the authority to wipe your entire personal phone clean if you resign or are terminated from the company.

You see, you have access to their privileged information and they have to protect this information at all costs. Now granted, employers do pay a portion of your bill in turn for this arrangement; however one must ask; does the expectation become that you must respond to all communications no matter the time/day because they pay a portion of the bill? When does work time end and personal time begin; and vice versa?

Naturally, some employees may feel that it is unfair to wipe their phones clean, causing them to lose all their personal contacts information; however, that does not protect the employer. How must the employer differentiate a personal contact entry from a business contact entry?

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Through my personal experience and conversations with many friends and colleagues over the years, I’ve found one thing in common; many employers place burdensome demands on employees that have a flexible schedule while refusing to give them company cell phones to perform such duties. These demands significantly impact work/life balance.

Now there are pros and cons for each side of this personal cell phone use debacle; but who benefits the most here? Is it equally beneficial or more so for the employer or employee?

I find that many flexible associates prefer to use their personal cell phones because personal cell phones allow them to do things a company cell phone wouldn’t normally allow; such as texting and taking photographs. On the other hand, people tend to be more productive and cautious when they use a company cell phone to conduct work. Because they know there are limits and boundaries they should not cross when using company equipment, they are more thoughtful with their communications.

So let’s say you prefer working from your personal device and want to avoid the hassle of keeping up with two mobile devices. Do you feel obligated to answer a work email or texts received on your personal time? Imagine how much more time you spend checking company emails and sending text messages or photo’s that are work related from your personal device rather than having a company device that you can lock away when you decide that work time is over and personal time begins. Is it possible to stop work communications from invading your phone while using the same device for personal communications? Or maybe there’s a magical button which allows one to shut off work mode and turn on personal mode? Either way, using a company device separate from your personal device allows you to have the option to physically separate yourself from work and focus on personal time without work interruptions.

If you opt to keep work with work and personal with personal, once you part ways with the organization your separation will be a clean one. If the company requires you to have access to features such as picture-taking and texting to conduct the work they require you to do, then it is only appropriate for you to have a company cell phone. There is no law that requires you use your personal device for work. Paying for a portion of your bill to conduct work on your personal cell phone comes at a greater cost to you ¾ losing your personal information, photos, emails and much more when you part ways.

My advice – read your pro forma agreement before you connect to a personal device; it’ll tell you a lot about what you can and cannot do with your personal phone and its contents if you choose to use it for company work. Lauren Weber said it best in her article in the Wall Street Journal “Phone wiping is just another example of the complications that emerge when the distinctions between our work and personal lives collapse”.

So what do you think? Do you think that employers should warn employees before they are going to wipe the phone clean? Or is it appropriate for employers to allow time for employees to save their personal information from being wiped out? Can employees who are leaving an organization be trusted with company information?

Can’t wait to hear from you!

All the best,

Mary V. Davids

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Is Entrepreneurship for You?

I often see advertisements with posts after posts of people marketing and claiming they can offer the best advice on “How to Become Your Own Boss“. Sure, on the surface, it sounds great; you can work for yourself with no boss to report to, you come and go as you please and make your own rules, but the truth is; starting out as an entrepreneur requires much more from you than you may think! In fact, you may end up working harder than you have in your life and to top it off, you will still work for someone else; your customers.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. There are many workers that find it much more rewarding to be part of something great without having to actually be the creator or the one entirely responsible for its existence. Entrepreneurship requires a significant amount of your time and it demands you make yourself available at all times (especially in the beginning) since you may be the only point of contact. You must be readily available to handle all matters regarding your business and always, always, always with a smile! Now I am in no way attempting to dissuade you from taking such a leap, I am merely painting a clear picture for you before you make such a life-changing commitment. 

If you are undecided about becoming an entrepreneur and need some guidance, here are a few things to take into consideration:

  1. Do you have the time? As I mentioned, entrepreneurship is time-consuming. It requires access to your life during all times of the day and week. One of the most important factors to consider is sacrificing family time. Many entrepreneurs have the benefit of being single, but others have families that require their undivided attention. It can be a challenging adjustment to balance family life and work life when you are an entrepreneur. You see, it is hard to just stop working at any given moment because you are the business. It is your problem and it is your job. If you don’t take the time to handle any pending issues or answer any pending questions at any given moment, then you are directly affecting your bottom line. It is all in your hands and the risk of shutting off work for life and tending to family is significantly greater.
  2. Do you have the resources? Entrepreneurship is all about having connections. Who do you know and how can you utilize that relationship to build your empire. Vendors that will work with you to deliver contracts, blueprints, presentations and the like are important to have an established relationship with. Especially just starting out, you may need to pull some favors that require people to work late to execute your request. This is only happening when you have built a firm relationship with those you need to help run your business.
  3. Have you any experience in marketing and networking? If you want to start your own business but don’t know how to get the word out or where you need to start to gain exposure, I suggest taking a course or two on marketing and sales. Marketing is an essential part of growth and sustainability. You don’t want to become the best kept secret; it’ll be difficult to make money when no one knows who you are and what you can offer. Beef up these skills before you buy the office space!
  4. Can you afford it? Calculate your minimum desired annual salary necessary to support your lifestyle. If you start your own business, how soon can you bring in that profit? Not just your bills and savings, but to really live the life you live now. Can you afford to stop working your full/part-time employment and go in one-hundred percent?
  5. Are you disciplined enough to work for yourself? Keep a one-week journal of your daily activities. It may surprise you seeing how much time you spend doing leisurely activities. Being your own boss must replace those activities if you want to start your own business. Are you willing to give that up?

Ask yourself these questions and do a serious analysis of your lifetime goals to see if entrepreneurship is the right avenue for you. If you are truly willing to give up the leisure things you do and replace them with value adders then you may be ready to start your own business.

A memorable statement that has always stuck with me: “If every morning you get up and you can’t think about anything else but writing, then you’re a writer.” No one is in more control of your life than you so make a conscious and informed decision to do what is best for you and everything else will fall into place.

All the best,

Mary V. Davids

Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at maryd@honestleadership.org

Motivate to be Great!

Motivate to be GreatWe all need a little push here and there and it is all too often that we pour so much of our energy into those we mentor, we forget we need some encouragement ourselves. So while I am self-motivating, I will also pour into you.

We have lived to see another year begin and many people have created personal and professional goals they intend on accomplishing. Before you reflect on yours, I ask that you stop and focus on the first two letters of GOAL; “GO“. You can’t get to goal without “GO” and nothing great will happen without action. You must put movement behind your words if you want to accomplish anything. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “I want to go back to school, have a family, travel the world, etc.” I’d be writing this post from my vacation home in Paris! (SUR LE PARC MONCEAU to be exact). Look, there is no time like the present to start doing what you wish you could do and stop doing what you wish you weren’t.

Start by writing down your goal(s) and then write down a plan of action; notice I said write down. When you write down your goals, objectives, timelines, etc., it is easier to achieve them. Once you see it, you can believe it and believing you can do something is a crucial element to accomplishing it. Without an action plan you won’t know where to start and you certainly won’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep in mind during the process you will need to go back and reflect on your progress (this will boost motivation) and you may need to make adjustments along the way as life always tends to throw a curve ball when we least expect it. I realize life is something we cannot control, but what we can control is how we react to it. Keep your focus and revisit your action plan as needed to make adjustments accordingly but I implore you to never lose sight of the goal.

If you are not sure where to start, I have devised a few recommendations to help you begin thinking:

GO- Travel to a place you’ve always wanted to go but never made the time.

GO- Tell the person you love how you really feel.

GO- Apologize to someone and make amends to heal a broken relationship.

GO- Take that job offer; even if you are scared you might fail. You may surprise yourself!

GO- Start a new business or invest in a new project.

GO- Back to school or take up learning a new language.

Your goal may be to walk 30 minutes a day or something as great as running for Congress (we need all the help we can get these days!) Whatever it is you desire to attain, it must first begin with you. Where there is a will, there is a way. Set yourself up for success now while you have the chance.

Larry Bossidy wrote in his book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done “The heart of execution lies in the three core processes: the people process, the strategy process, and the operations process.”

The first of these is “the people”; that’s you! Anything that is to be done starts with you and you can’t spell done without using “DO“.

As for me; I’ve always wanted to write a book but never made the time. Chapter One begins now!

Wishing you all the best,

Mary V. Davids

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

If you want to be “Liked” by your Employees, Leadership is not for you!

Let’s face it, we feel good when we are accepted and liked by our superiors and co-workers. It makes the day go by smoother and it is easier to go to work knowing you have a good relationship with your colleagues. There is something to be said about the ease of liking the people you work with. In fact, I’ve often found many employees are loyal to organizations because they like their co-workers and management. Now while those circumstances are admirable, as leaders we shouldn’t become dependent on being liked to effectively perform our job. Balance is important in leadership, especially because it is in our DNA to have the desire to be embraced. Imagine being cuddled and soothed throughout life only to face the harsh reality of the world we live in today. Let’s face it; it’s a jungle out here and survival skills are mandatory to succeed! Being dependent on fitting in with the crowd simply won’t cut it. Leaders have great discernment; as a leader, you have to know when to cut the cord and when to hold a hand.

So how do you become an effective leader AND

have a good relationship with your employees?

Good leaders are cut from a different cloth. Effective leaders are humble beings. They are respectful, courteous and empathetic. They are equipped with the ability to influence and encourage people to perform required tasks to meet or exceed expectations. These qualifications and characteristics are not teachable through a 3 hour certification course. Either you have it, or you don’t. This is why I strongly disagree with the notion that merely having workplace seniority automatically qualifies an employee to assume a leadership position. Experience and book smarts alone are not sufficient enough to qualify someone as a leader. The desire to help others succeed must be greater than the desire to help oneself.

Mean managers are not leaders!

It is important to avoid the misconception that being mean or cold is a requirement if you want to work in a leadership capacity. Some managers believe that imposing intimidation and fear on employees gets better or faster results; when in the long run, it only creates a negative culture within the organization which will soon prove to be detrimental. Having the support of your employees is vital to an organization’s sustainability. This condition is not something that should be taken lightly and employees should not be dismissed or treated as though they are not valuable even if eventually you find they are a mismatch for the organization. Life will teach us that not everyone is meant to lead and that is fine; but there must be a mutually consistent level of respect and professionalism during the journey.

Leaders have to have tough skin!

Born leaders don’t spend time focusing on how many people genuinely like them; instead, they focus on building functional relationships while firmly relaying objectives and expectations. Holding employees accountable for goals not met can be challenging when you have an emotional connection with someone you manage. The line in the sand must be drawn clearly and distinctly and not everyone can manage these boundaries. When your vision becomes clouded by playing favorites, you have no room to make tough decisions and handle conflicts through unbiased eyes. Emotions will take over and the outcomes of those decisions hardly yield impressive results.

The truth is; receiving negative criticism when you are a leader is inevitable. You can’t please everybody and to be frank, not everyone is worth the investment and that’s OK! Wish them well and move-on; but you must, move-on. As leaders, we are not in the people pleasing business; we are in the people building business.

All the best,

Mary V. Davids

Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. To contact Mary, you can email her at maryd@dm-professional.com or follow her on twitter @MVDavids.

7 Ways to Make this Year a Milestone

Make 2014 Your Best Year!2014 cartoon man upward arrow

Now that 2013 is behind us, it is time to reflect on our best and worst moments last year and use those experiences to make this year one that sets the bar; here’s how:

  1. Get Involved. Volunteer at a non-profit organization of your choice, contribute to help within your community or become part of an advisory board with your college. Taking on special projects or participating in fundraising activities will help you to develop new skills and abilities which will increase your value within your current organization or allow you to seek new opportunities. Volunteering helps to interact with a diverse range of people, which can also heighten your interpersonal skills.
  2. Network, Network, Network! Find at least 2 events each month that you make a priority to attend. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out affair where you spend tons of time and money trying to piece together a new outfit, plan for the babysitter or re-arrange your entire life. Many business networking events are scheduled during the week; such as a business-breakfast, brunch, luncheon or happy hour. Find something that works for you and plan accordingly.
  3. Seize the opportunity. How many times have you let an opportunity slip away and beat yourself up over it later knowing that you could have done more? Well this year, there will be no regrets. You must see opportunity in everything you do and everywhere you go. Make it a priority to connect with someone on a more intimate level, present a new idea to management or even start your own business! Whatever you decide to do, do it with boldness and narrow focus.
  4. Read More. Stay up to date on industry trends and news by subscribing to a local or national newspaper. Read your Bible, a few new books or subscribe to magazines or newsletters related to your current work or an industry you are interested in pursuing. Reading can be beneficial when networking as well. For example, things you have read can become ice-breakers or may allow you to take part in a conversation you wouldn’t normally have contributed to.
  5. Exercise/Implement Better Eating Habits. I know some of us dread this part, and I’m beginning to question myself on why I hadn’t decided to put this at the end of the article to avoid losing readers! If you are still reading this, it means you are have sense enough to know that exercise and healthy eating increases the odds of longevity and greatly impacts your overall lifestyle in a positive way. You’ll want to live longer once you conquer 2014 so get started now!
  6. Stand Up and Stand Out. Let people know who you are and what you are about. These behaviors must be inclusive in your daily conversation and interaction with others. Exchanges containing personal values such as diversity, religious beliefs, integrity and community tend to be more genuine and memorable. Don’t be swayed by the politics of the corporate world. Remain consistent and firm while being empathetic and understanding to differences of opinion. These leadership traits create an atmosphere of admiration inside and outside the organization.
  7. Travel More. Now I know you may be thinking; when will I have time to travel when you have given me this arduous list of things to do this year? Well my dear inquiring reader, it is absolutely possible. We must make time for things that are important and there is nothing more important than spending time with those you love, rejuvenating yourself and getting the most out of life. I’ve never heard of a dying man uttering “I wish I would have worked more” as last words. Your career is not a characteristic, it is an occupation. Reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve put in and take a break. Take is the operative word here because no one can make you do what is best for you; you must make the decision to do that for yourself.

I’m certain these tips will help you to make 2014 devoid of regret and full of enrichment!

All the best,

Mary V. Davids

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

What Does the Term “Overqualified” mean Anyway?

Originally posted on Honest Leadership™:


Imagine, you get a call for a position you’ve applied for and during your interview you are told “you are overqualified”. Then you wonder, “What does that mean?” Well let me enlighten you. Being overqualified is code for the following reasons:

1.       They don’t want to pay you what you are worth.

It turns out that while your résumé may include all of your degrees and accomplishments, after speaking with you, the hiring managers have determined that you are above their pay grade. You may be intellectually gifted and may have more experience than most of their employees, maybe even the very ones that are conducting the interview. These types of employers are looking to hire someone that will fit right in, not “rock the boat” with their smart suggestions or challenge the way things are being handled in the organization. You simply bring too much experience and knowledge to the…

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