Monday, November 18, 2019

Working long hours and hiding it

Are you someone who works long hours to get the job done and keep the boss happy, but does not actually tell anyone just how much overtime you are doing?  Are you burnt out?

Like a lot of managers and executives, you may have times of high workloads where extra hours become the norm for short periods of time.  However, if the short periods are turning into long periods of time or even worse all the time, it is time to be honest with yourself, and the boss.  Hiding how long you are working does not allow the company to actually realize just how much work you are doing, and that you likely need to hire someone else (even if only part time) to help or re-evaluate the position.  If you fear telling your boss about working longer hours, for fear you may be fired, then you chose how to proceed.  My goal is to provide you options only.  Here is a list of things you can do:

1 - face your fear head on and talk to your boss about the continual longer hours
2 - go to someone else, like Human Resources, to see what your options are
3 - simply ask for an assistant / request an additional head
4 - work only the hours you are willing to (within reason of course)
5 - seek out other employment
6 - do nothing
7 - complete a time study then determine what the time wasters are and try to eliminate or avoid them
8 - review the job description and ensure it is still accurate
9 - review the tasks you do and determine if what you are doing is really needed.  Think about unnecessary reports, meetings, etc that perhaps you can ask your boss about not doing.

This is not a complete list and I do not suggest one over another as again, I am not here to tell you what you need to do, but to assist you by providing some options.

If you need help with this or in what decision you need to make for you, please contact me for a free 15 mins consult.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Keeping Yourself Healthy

This may seem a little bit of common sense - stay healthy.  However, this can be difficult when we are stressed or our company is struggling.  People tend to not eat, eat the wrong foods, emotionally eat and forget about exercise.

Our bodies and minds need us to take care of them, especially when stressed.  This is the time when you need to take a lunch break, you need to eat healthy and you need exercise.  So, how do you do this in a fast paced, stressful environment?  Here are a few tips:

1 - when grocery shopping, pick whole fruits you can grab on the go
2 - grab a premade salad or 2 that will last a few days - again helping with the grab and go
3 - shop the exterior of the grocery store and avoid the middle aisles.  Why?  Because this is where a lot of the foods we don't need, but love to eat are.   These can include: chips, candies, cookies, crackers and other foods that don't help our minds or bodies during stress.
4 - pack your lunch and snacks the night before or as much of it as you can.
5- take time for lunch every single day - at least 20 minutes - this allows your mind to relax and actually makes you more productive for the rest of the day
6 - follow the Canada's food guide to understand what you should be eating daily -

1 - go for short walks throughout the day
2 - park further away from the door at work, customer locations, grocery stores or wherever else you are
3 - take the stairs instead of the elevator (going up to a very high floor, then take half the stairs and half the elevator)
4 - have walking meetings
5 - walk around your home in the evening when watching TV (great time is during commercials)
6 - post a motivating sign, picture, or reminder on your fridge to get moving
7 - wear a pedometer or other step counting device and aim to add 100 steps a day until you can get close to 10000.

There are a lot of different tips and tricks out there.  If you need motivational help or help with accountability, I can assist.  Contact me today at or visit our website at

Saturday, October 12, 2019


As it is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada this weekend, it is important to also remember your employees.  They work hard all year and most companies do something at Christmas, but not usually other times of the year.

Try doing a pizza day, bbq or pot luck before long weekends or stat holidays.  It helps build morale and keep your employees engaged.  These things do not have to cost much and if you just don't have the budget, then try a pot luck or chilli cook off.  Make it exciting where you can try new things and cost very little.  Most employees will enjoy it.

From my family to yours, if you are in Canada, Happy Thanksgiving!  And if you are not in Canada, Happy Saturday! or

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Staying Motivated

Even managers and leaders can have times when staying motivated is difficult.  Maybe it's is something at home bothering you, employee issues or concerns, or just from feeling overwhelmed.  It happens.  If it happens every day, you need to take a look at what you are doing and why you are doing it?  Are you truly happy with your job choice?  Remember, life is about choices you make.  If you are not motivated all the time, find the reason why and move forward.  I can help with that.

If motivation is short lived, here are a few tips to keep you and your team motivated:

1 - Take a break.  As managers and leaders, we forget to take a day off or to shut down during vacation.  So do it.  Remember, if you are a great leader, your team will survive without you for a day or two.

2 - Celebrate.  Bring free coffees in to your team, or even a treat.  This may not feel like it will motivate you, but when you receive the thank you's, you may feel motivated to take on the day.

3 - Team Building.  This can help motivate you and your team.  Make it fun, and not a "corporate is making us do something stupid" thing.  Think outside the box.  If possible get away from the office for it.  Maybe an escape room, after work dinner, games day, or even ask for ideas.

4 - Get Support.  If you are not feeling motivated, tell those who make sense (not necessarily your team - you are their motivator).  Tell a friend, family member or your coach and work on taking steps to feel better.

5 - Get Outside.  This may seem obvious to some, but how often do you actually go out for a walk at lunch?  Go for a hike on the weekend?  Enjoy a fire with some neighbours?  Getting outside away from your electronics will bring back some energy that a lack of motivation can steal.

For more help, please do reach out as I am here to help.  Email me at or visit our website at


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Keeping Things Organized

You have only so many hours a day and want some work / life balance...and so do your employees.  So what do you do to get that?  Be organized.

1 - Get rid of emails you receive regularly from your suppliers by unsubscribing.  They can call you or you can reach out to them when the time arises.  For a lot of leaders and managers this can significantly reduce your daily or weekly emails.
2 - Organize your inbox.  Create rules that move emails when they come in.  For example, have all emails you are cc'ed on moved to a CC folder for your review when you are able.
3 - When using an out of office on email or the phone, give the person on the other end someone else to contact while you are unavailable.  This can also significantly decrease workloads when you return from a vacation, business trip, etc.
4 - Going on vacation?  Tell everyone!  Again, give them another contact for that time and you will see a huge drop in your emails and phone messages...and when you are on vacation do NOT answer them.  Unless dire and urgent, there is no need to answer them.  This just allows others to think it is okay to contact you on vacation when you need rest.
5 - Cross train.  No one person should be the only one who knows how to do something.  An organized leader will ensure their team is able to work without one or two of them there (think vacation, short term illness, etc).
6 - Practise the 5S process - Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain (Google it now and I will explain in a later post).
7 - Get rid of or store documents no longer needed.  Check your governments website for how long you actually need to keep records (hire a lawyer to help if you aren't sure).  This will help get rid of the paper clutter we all have around.
8 - Talk to your employees about what reports or other tasks you actually need and don't need.  Review this annually.  Maybe one of your employees runs a sales report for you and you never review it.  Think: is this really worth the time it takes my employee away from other duties?  Are we doing it just because we always have?  Can I get rid of it and free up some of my employee's time?  if you can, then do it.  Times change fast, so the tasks your employees did last year need reviewed to ensure they are still relevant.  You may find a lot of freed up time by doing this.

Organization is one of the keys to success...there are tones of tips out there and I will continue to share throughout my posts.

Until next time you can always contact me at or find us on the web at


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Change and Your People

As my organization is going through many big changes right now, I thought it would be a good time to write a bit about this.

Usually leaders and managers know and understand the changes much better than the people on the floor or in the office.  This means your employees may overhear conversations, not understand them and become worried, frustrated or scared for their job security.  Maybe you are talking budget cuts and you know it won't affect them, but do they?

Ensuring your employees are in the know as much as they need to be is important.  They don't have to know everything, but give them enough information so they are not fearful.  Remember, if your company is not doing well or undergoing major changes, this can demotivate employees and actually make things worse.  Being more open about why changes are coming, what they are and how they may affect people is important.

Management teams do sometimes forget the biggest human element in change management - emotions.  We all have emotions and will go through them whether it be: shock, frustration, acceptance, depression, fear, etc.  We must be prepared to manage the emotions of our employees in a way that allows us to move forward with change in a positive manner.  How do you do this?  Share information.  Maybe you say that you are making cost cuts due to expected slow downs and ask them if they have any ideas on how your department can help.  This may actually prove a huge benefit and help you eliminate the need to cut people or other items you know you need or will need in the future.

If your company is not open book, then share what you can to ensure your employees will be by your side, help in managing the change and have a positive outlook.

Until next time, you can reach me at or feel free to check us out online at

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Have you evaluated your team?

You have probably evaluated each team member separately during their performance reviews.  Likely the typical things: quality of work, attendance, etc.  But have you evaluated your team and how they can actually help each other?

I am sure you have heard of a SWOT analysis.  You take a situation or project, review your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so you can work through to achieving your goal.  Have you ever thought of doing a SWOT on your team?

You don't do this with the team, but by yourself evaluating each one.  If you have 3 direct reports and there are some issues here and there for all of them, then do  a SW - Strengths and Weakness on each of those reports.  Maybe a strength of A is that they are punctual, but not very accurate.  Another one (B) is always late, but they are extremely accurate.  Perhaps C is always punctual and a great trainer.  So now look at your Opportunities - Can team member C help team member B with accuracy?  Can team member B help team member A with how to train?  Can team member A help someone be on time somehow?  Then review your threats - perhaps the person who is not punctual is bored and maybe having them do some training with another team member that is struggling will help them feel more empowered.  Maybe you need to have 1:1 meetings to discuss their weaknesses and strengths so they can improve and your team can be great!  Be cautious not to put people down though.  For example, maybe I say to team member A "I see you are having some trouble getting to meetings on time.  What do you think the people who are on time may do differently than you?  Do you think you may be able to do those things to help with being punctual?"

People love praise, so work with things found strengths to help those on your team who may have these as weaknesses.  Help each other be productive.  Basically, you need to know where your teams strengths and weaknesses are so you can make opportunities to improve the team and remove any possible threats.

There is the food for thought for today.  If you need to get in touch with me, please email me at or for our website.