How can I earn respect from older staff members in my first job as a senior manager?

How can I earn respect from older staff members in my first job as a senior manager?  Question  I have just taken on my first senior management role, after moving to another engineering firm. I am really enjoying the role. However, I’m in my 30s and a lot of the staff that I manage are older and have been with the company for longer than I have. Some of these staff members don’t always follow my instructions. What is the best way to earn the respect of these more seasoned workers? Answer  This is an all-too-frequent issue that can arise when you join a new team where the members are older than the manager. But it also commonly occurs where a team member is promoted within their team to team leader. The key to becoming a successful leader is gaining trust and ensuring that you develop a leadership style that matches both you and your team. But the reality is that no one size fits all in these cases. The most common mistake someone can make when taking on a leadership role is trying to make too large an impact in too short a space of time. While this can bear some immediate results, these can be short-term gains and result in longer-term pain of disengaged employees and in turn reduced productivity. While there is no magic solution to change things overnight, there are some steps, below, which you can take to gain trust and buy-in from your team. But, don’t forget that it is important you start with your end goal in mind. You need to be clear and concise as to what you want your team to achieve, implement processes to facilitate this and measure what has been achieved. 1. Engagement: The key to success is a) to recognise the individuality of each team member and b) ensure that each person understands clearly what the team’s goals are. It is critical to engage with and listen to employees to understand their challenges; recognise their individual, and team achievements and create a sense of belonging. In doing so you will build trust, which is the glue that keeps a team together as well as developing mutual respect. 2 One-to-one meetings: These are an opportunity to learn about individual employees and build rapport with them. The most important thing is to listen carefully to what they have to say. There is a saying that: “The easiest way to look like you are listening is by actually listening… ” Find out what motivates them, understand their goals and develop a plan towards achieving these. Invite them to share what they feel is working or not working. It’s equally important to acknowledge their strengths and any areas for development or upskilling. Following this, discuss a plan on how you can use their strengths and develop their weaknesses.   3 Team meetings: When it comes to raising any issues within the team, it’s important to do this in a group session while maintaining control and ownership of the meeting. Together, identify the barriers within their environment that are preventing them from being more successful. Have an open discussion on how you, as a team, can remove these barriers to success and make the business more successful. Create a plan on how to achieve the goals that the team has identified and ensure those who are stepping up to take ownership are allowed to do so. Generally, the plan and the goals will be similar across a business, but the key to success is ensuring the team feels that it has been developed around them and the key successes will be down to the team and not personal performance. It can sometimes be beneficial to allow the team to present their findings to senior management directly, enabling the team to feel they have a voice at the table. But make sure that there is follow up in place. In summary, the key to any successful leader is the engagement of their staff: by ensuring the team have the opportunity to input, and belief that the success of a team is based on the sum of all parts. That is when you become a successful leader and not a boss. Don’t rush it, engagement is key, keep control and start with your end goal in sight.             David Fitzgibbon Mid-West regional manager Collins McNicholas recruitment and HR services group This article was originally published in the business section of The Sunday Independent on Sunday, February 11th 2018, and can be viewed...

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Collins McNicholas Galway Team Welcomes New Team Leaders!

  Collins McNicholas Galway welcomes the appointment of Eoghan Curtin and promotion of Christopher O’Toole to Team Leaders! Eoghan is a highly experienced Account Manager with 12 years recruitment experience across all industry sectors with multiple agencies in Ireland, Canada & Switzerland. A native of Bushypark, Galway, Eoghan holds a Masters of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce from NUIG and is currently completing a degree in Data Science and studying French and German to a professional level. Christopher O’Toole has received a promotion to Principal Consultant Team Leader to manage the Technical Engineering Division within the Galway office. Christopher is an experienced Account Manager having grown within Collins McNicholas from Junior Recruitment Consultant to Principal Team Lead within 5 years. During that time, he has had ample success, particularly in recruiting for specialist Engineering and Scientific roles for a range of clients. Prior to joining Collins McNicholas, Christopher spent a number of years working in the recruitment industry in Dublin.  A native of Oughterard Co. Galway, Christopher is a graduate of NUIG having obtained an honours degree in 2011.           Michelle Murphy Director Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services...

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How do I handle a bullying complaint when I have never witnessed any problems?

Question: A member of my team has come to me with an allegation of bullying about a colleague. I have never witnessed it, so I am unsure how to address the matter. I feel it is my responsibility to protect my staff, but I haven’t any evidence. Have you any advice on how to deal with this sensitive issue? Answer: Workplace bullying is a very real and common occurrence that can be incredibly difficult to deal with. It is a legal minefield and can also be difficult for a manager to prove. It can come in many forms, from a boss singling out an employee or a colleague playing repeated pranks to a peer choosing to ignore another individual’s contribution to a project. Bullying can be defined as “repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work”. In this ever-changing busy environment, managers can sometimes dismiss bullying accusations as personality or management-style clashes. Others may recognise the problem, but lack the confidence or skills to deal with it. Bullying is not in any job description so, as a manager, you need to be vigilant and ready to deal with a situation where someone comes to you in confidence about possible bullying. Bullying is likely to affect the employee’s self-esteem, not to mention productivity and then they can also bring this home to their personal lives. Trying to pass bullying off as management...

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How to Bounce Back After Making an Uncharacteristic and Costly Mistake at Work.

Question: I am a marketing manager of a pharmaceutical company and really enjoy my job. Normally I receive nothing but praise from the owners of the company and have always felt confident in my role. But a few weeks ago, I made a major mistake that cost our company an important client. My boss was clearly disappointed and he had to explain the situation to the owners. I feel that since it has happened, I have been sidelined and my confidence has been seriously knocked. How can I express my regret, earn respect and build my confidence again? Answer: It is almost inevitable that occasionally in our working lives mistakes occur. We have to own up to them, fix them if possible and then move on. Unfortunately, your mistake seems to be continuing to impact on how you feel about the organisation, your work and your relationship with your team. You have to take some action to ensure that it doesn’t continue to impact on your work. Here are some steps that might help to move forward. 1 Forgive yourself Although this sounds like a cliche, thinking through your error, accepting your mistake, and moving on personally will impact on how you can move on. It appears that your error in judgement has impacted your confidence negatively and this will affect your work. However, you have said that your record previously was exceptional, you were well received by your team and often acknowledged for this success. You need to try to focus on these positive reflections of yourself, rather than negatives. Take the time to consciously forgive yourself for...

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10 Tips for Landing Your Dream Job in 2018

It’s January and most people’s thoughts are on the things they want to change in their lives in the New Year. One of the biggest alterations a person can make is taking a new direction in their career so, every year, “finding the dream job” is usually high up on many people’s New Year’s resolutions list. However, by the end of January, many of the changes that were so urgent and important at the end of December, have gone by the wayside as we slip back into the comfort of our old workplace and familiar routine. Moving jobs or changing careers can be a scary prospect and sometimes people think that it is easier for them to stay where they are — even if they are unhappy — rather than make a fresh start. But there is no reason why landing your dream job cannot become a reality for you in 2018. What you need is a plan; a roadmap that will give you the structure you need to stay disciplined in pursuit of your goals. If your New Year’s resolution is to progress your career, you can’t afford to be casual in the way you pursue it. Most people think that all they have to do is update their CV, send it out to a few agencies, and sit back and wait for the job offers to come in. They are wrong. If you are serious about developing your career in 2018, here are 10 things you can do to make it a reality:   Set your goal. You can’t progress your career if you don’t know what you want to do....

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I don’t know how to tell my supervisor I’m overworked in my busy public relations firm

Question: I’ve been working as a manager in a PR agency for five years and have really enjoyed my job until recently. In the past three months my workload – and that of my team – has dramatically increased and I am unable to get everything successfully completed. To try and finish my work, I limit breaks and frequently avoid lunch. We have gained a new contract, so I know we will all be working even harder. How can I gently bring my concerns to my supervisor? Answer: While it is positive that the PR agency you work for is busy, being chronically overstretched can quickly lead to burnout, which will negatively impact your work and your personal life. You need to develop tactics to cope with your workload in the short term, while also developing a long-term strategy to better resource your department to cope with the increased workload. Take your breaks: Research has consistently proven that those who take regular breaks away from their work are more productive in the long run. Creating some mental space from a problem can give a new perspective, remove the tension from a situation, and give you a chance to replenish your energy. The quality of the time spent at your desk is far more important than the quantity. Work smarter: Take some time as a group to list your daily tasks and examine how they are shared among your team. This exercise can highlight areas of duplication and inefficiency. For example, two people generating a very similar report but for a different purpose. Asking one person to generate a report, which serves the...

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