Quiet … There’s People Working

You know the situation, it’s happened to you numerous times; you’re nose to the grindstone focussed on a task – then someone comes through where you’re working with a voice that wouldn’t be lost at a rugby game.

There’s nothing worse than having your concentration interrupted, or being on a phone call when the person you’re speaking with asks what the noise is in the background.

No doubt, like me, you’ve spoken a tad too loud in the office … there are ways to deal with other people who seem to try and reach the highest decibel possible.

This article on stuff.co.nz is a great read, if you’re battling a loud voice in the workplace.

Silencing loud talkers at work

UNAVOIDABLE: Loud talkers share the most intimate details of their lives while taking personal calls and enjoy broadcasting a running commentary on unfolding situations.

The office loud talker can infuriate and distract even the most conscientious workers. So what is the best way to deal with these walking megaphones?

Natalia Perera is well acquainted with the difficulties of working with a loud talker. The innovative director of Syneka Marketing sits directly opposite the company’s managing director who, she says, has a booming, baritone voice.

“Sometimes people I’m talking to on the phone ask what that noise in the background is,” she says.

“This office also has a bit of an echo, so it makes his voice even louder.”

Unlike many loud talkers, Perera’s boss is aware of the problem and is happy to pipe down when asked.

“It can be a bit distracting especially when I’m on deadline and it’s the last thing you need when you’re feeling under pressure,” she says.

“I just put my headphones in my ears or sometimes I let him know he needs to be quiet.”

Loud talkers are a common annoyance on public transport, flights and cinemas. But in the workplace there is no escape from their daily noise pollution.

Loud talkers share the most intimate details of their lives while taking personal calls, think out loud and enjoy broadcasting a running commentary on unfolding situations.

read full article here

Staff Morale – Is it a reflection on the Organisation?

When was the last time you took a helicopter view of your organisation, taking particular look at your staff?

The way staff interact with each other, the way they speak about the organisation can indicate how they feel about the organisation. Not their job, but about the organisation as a whole.

Staff who don’t speak highly of the organisation may have reasons for this, are they feeling under valued, have they been passed over for promotion?

It is important to look at the picture your staff are painting, if they’re painting an unfavourable picture about the organisation and sharing this with colleagues; they could be “poisoning” others and, there’s also the risk that they’re sharing this outside of work.

If staff are poisoning others, it won’t be long before their negativity rubs off on others, the sooner you spot something and act the better.

Unless you’re in touch with how staff are feeling you’re lost in the dark, you need to be speaking with your staff to hear their views, their opinions about their job, their worth within the organisation and, their overall view about the organisation and the work being it does.

If you’re staff are at the front of the organisation, it may be more important to be listening to what they have to say, if they’re feeling disenfranchised this could come across in their interactions with those they deal with – potentially negatively impacting on service delivery and funding opportunities.

When new staff join an organisation, if there is negativity among staff this can have a detrimental effect on the way new staff interact and perform in their role. If they’re feeling “out of place”, feeling as though they’ve made the wrong choice, it could impact on the employment costs of the organisation; and could even result in action in employment court.

Many companies and, organisations conduct regular performance reviews which is important, however unless these are a two-way process they can miss opportunities, miss indications of low morale in the staff.

Staff reviews should be conducted at least annually, some are conducted every six months; but as a rule, don’t conduct them less than once each year.

And, in between – always – keep an eye and ear out for what staff are saying.

What they are saying could be just what you hear to make changes you’ve been pondering, even negative comments can create valuable opportunities for an organisation to grow and flourish.

Do you conduct staff reviews, if so has there been anything come to light from these that has helped your organisation grow and perhaps change they way things were done?

What gems have you learned from staff reviews?