Archives for June 2017 | Collins McNicholas

What’s the best way to manage a colleague who is also a friend, now I have been promoted?

What’s the best way to manage a colleague who is also a friend, now I have been promoted?Q. I have moved into a senior position in the medtech company where I have worked for seven years. My new role sees me managing people I have worked alongside for many years. I am confident there should be no issues with the majority. However, I have already identified that I will have an issue with one person. While I have a good personal relationship with them, their work practices need a lot of improvement. I feel I need to confront them on a number of performance issues – such as their timekeeping and productivity. How do I do this without losing the personal relationship we have? A. A workplace promotion is to be commended, so you should feel empowered and confident about your capabilities to lead, and direct a team. As a manager you are expected to know and administer company policies and procedures in order to build your credibility with your team and other members of the management team. The rules cannot be bent for certain co-workers, so this must be made clear from the outset. You need to become an authentic role model to gain loyalty and respect from your new team. Set the parameters immediately through individual conversations in order to acknowledge the recent change. The relationship has changed on both sides, so it is just as awkward for them. If you have an emotional connection you will have a hard time setting those feelings aside when needed. Friendship shouldn’t influence decisions on performance, pay or dealing out assignments. Nip the situation in the bud. You might be tempted to put off the awkward chat but everyone benefits from a timely and honest approach. Even if your co-worker is annoyed about the conversation, they will eventually respect your situation. Your position isn’t about trying to be popular; it’s about leading others to achieve results. Gather all facts. The best way to make sure that this conversation goes smoothly is to prepare. Review all of the details – then have examples ready to discuss so you have backup ready. Know your HR policies. Review all policies on the problem. If you wish to have a HR representative present then do so but that might be overkill for an initial chat. You need to know the next steps in procedures, so take charge of the situation. Measure your empathy. You have an existing friendship so you can gauge how the conversation will go and how they will react. As they are receiving negative feedback or a disciplinary action and may feel you are disappointed in them, be ready for the chat taking a more emotional turn. Don’t let empathy keep you from staying professional. Be sympathetic but remember the end goal. Agree the objectives Know what you want to accomplish from this chat – will it lead to a performance plan now or is it an initial discussion? Be ready to set clear expectations and agree the next meeting. Don’t drag the meeting on too long. Resist the urge to apologise – they are in charge of their own destiny. Let them make suggestions on how to improve their performance. Build up the Trust If your friendship is valid then a difficult conversation can be overcome and may even create a stronger working relationship. They need to feel that you trust them to make the necessary changes and that you will support them. Confidentiality rules as a manager, this is a golden rule – no matter how tempted, the discussion stays between you and the individual. If they want to discuss it with others, that is their prerogative. A difficult conversation can only make you stronger as a manager; they put you out of your comfort zone and can improve your communication, negotiation and overall people skills. For any difficult conversation, it is important to remain professional at all times and treat each and every employee fairly and with respect so your credibility as a manager can never be questioned. Michelle Murphy is Director of Collins McNicholas, Recruitment & HR Services Group, which has six offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Athlone and Limerick. Send your career questions to sundaybusiness@independent.ie           Michelle Murphy Director, Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group This article was originally published in the Business section of the Sunday Independent, June 25th 2017. The original article can be found...

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Experience, not age, is the factor that helps older candidates stand out in job interviews

Q: I am a senior manager in a telecommunications business and have decided to take the plunge and move careers. I am excited but a bit nervous. My last interview was 20 years ago, as I was headhunted for my current position. I am concerned that – as a person in my late 40s – I am going to stand out among the younger candidates for the role. Do you have any advice on how I should prepare? A: I agree that you could stand out at interviews, as employers might consider you too experienced or expensive – even a little out of touch. However, don’t lose sight of the things you do have that others might not – including excellent work experience, a valuable skill set, a strong network of contacts and a solid track record. The secret is to be prepared for all those issues that might be considered weaknesses and could be brought up during the interview process. You are experienced enough to know how to create a good business case for yourself and highlight how you can move your skill set. Demonstrate your willingness to learn, to keep growing and take risks. Many candidates I meet have the same fear about their age – but I always say age should never be a factor. Focus on your strengths around your work experience and qualifications. Ask yourself truthfully ‘What value can I bring to this new role’ and ‘Can I sell myself as an expert’? Will they think I have less energy? We all slow down as we age. However, in the workplace, sometimes the less-experienced person...

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How to successfully resolve conflict between staff members before it poisons morale

Question: I hold a senior role in a large software company and manage a team of 20 software developers. Managing a growing team can be a challenge but I enjoy it most of the time. However, I have a situation where two of my more senior team leaders do not get on. This has been obvious since the most recent hire joined the team. While neither has done anything that would cause me to discipline them, the morale of the team has definitely been affected by the tension between them. How do I resolve this? Answer: Conflict resolution is an issue a lot of managers have to face and it can be unsettling for everyone. You need to take the right approach as early as possible to ensure it doesn’t grow out of proportion. Conflict can cause a toxic environment within the workplace so you need to totally understand the situation and act responsibly. Management is not about popularity or avoiding a negative reputation but about ensuring you act in the best interest of the team and the organisation in an ethical manner. All managers and leaders must expect to have to deal with a conflict situation at some point so here are some pointers to consider. Timing is key Avoiding the situation or putting it off until another day will not wash. You need to take action where you have evidence that there is a situation, which is negatively impacting others – and that there is a pattern to it. Striking too early without proper information will lead to possible confrontation. But the other team members need to see that...

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Data Protection – The General Data Protection Regulation

The long awaited General Data Protection Regulation is now set to be implemented on the 25th May 2018 across the European Union. The GDPR shall replace the existing Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC which has been in place since 1995 and will have a significant impact for all organisations doing business in Ireland and the EU. The aim of the aforementioned Regulation is to harmonise data protection across Europe and to make businesses more accountable for data privacy compliance. The GDPR will apply to both data controllers and data processors. The implementation of the GDPR introduces new elements and significant enhancements to European Data Protection law which will require detailed consideration by all organisations involved in processing personal data as there will be significant financial penalties for non-compliance. Some of the key changes introduced are as follows:- Consent There will be much stronger rules on consent. The GDPR will require a data subject’s consent to the processing of their personal data to be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. Reliance on silence, inactivity, or pre-ticked boxes will no longer be sufficient to constitute consent. It is also the case that data subjects will be permitted to withdraw their consent at any time.   Broader Definition of Personal Data The definition of ‘personal data’ is now broadened to include online identifiers, location data, and IP addresses. Also, the term ‘sensitive personal data’ has been broadened to include genetic and biometric data.   Reporting of Data Breaches The GDPR will bring in mandatory breach notifications. All breaches must be reported to the local data protection authority unless the breach is unlikely to...

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