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Smartmanager - Management Tips and Advice

How to Achieve Your Career Goals
If you’re an aspirational manager, you’ve probably made a list of career goals you want to achieve in 2017, such as getting a promotion, learning a new skill, or achieving a better work-life balance. According to Ipsos, while 31% of Canadians will make New Year’s Resolutions, almost three quarters – 73 percent – will break them at one point or another.Clearly, those odds aren’t very encouraging. B ... Read More
How to Overcome the Fear of Failure
We all know that fear of failure can limit us. But did you know that when managers experience fear of failure and let it dictate their professional actions, it can have a negative impact on their teams?Playing it safe can carry significant risksThe problem is that when someone in a decision-making position experiences fear, he or she is likely to choose the “safe” option whenever a decision has to ... Read More
Management Lessons from Formula 1
Managers get their inspiration from many different things. Some read books by ancient philosophers and strategists. Others study top business leaders from around the world. Yet others are inspired by people they’ve met in the course of their careers. Regardless of where you seek your inspiration, thinking outside of the box now and then can open your mind to completely new aspects of managing. For ... Read More
7 Ways to Motivate Your Team This Winter
Does your team seem to go into a collective dip in mid- to late January? If you’ve answered, “Yes!” then you’re definitely not alone. Many managers who live in a climate with cold winters notice a distinct drop in morale during the winter. The holidays are over; commutes are cold at best and dangerous at worst; lots of people are under the weather; and to top it all off, your office can be draught ... Read More
Helping Your Employees with Organizational Change
From virtual workplace apps to risk-management software, the number and kind of innovations changing how we work and connect with customers are coming fast and furious. As a result, many companies are undergoing organizational change—in particular digital transformation—in order to streamline their business processes and establish more effective ways to market their services or products.Many emplo ... Read More
8 Workplace Trends for 2017
Due to demographic shifts and rapid technological advancements, the workplace is undergoing exciting changes. For managers, it’s key to be informed about how these changes will affect the workplace so they can proactively harness them to their organizations’ advantage. What follows are the top eight workplace trends you can expect in 2017.Gen Z begins to make its mark in the workplace.A large numb ... Read More
How to Support Remote Employees
Recent research shows an interesting trend regarding remote workers. In the Forbes article titled “Are Remote Workers Happier and More Productive? New Survey offers Answers,” Victor Lipman shares that overall, telecommuting workers score considerably higher than the average when it comes to being happy in their job; how valued they feel at work; and how productive they are.Despite all of this, man ... Read More
How to Conquer Workplace Fears
Does the thought of organizing a high profile conference sponsored by your company make you break into a cold sweat?Are you having nightmares about handling an account for an important overseas client whose customs are very different from ours?Are you constantly anxious that you’ll unwittingly make a mistake at work that will cost you your job?Nearly everyone has at least one career-related fear. ... Read More
How to Get Feedback from Your Employees
How often do you ask your employees for feedback on your own performance—and actually receive an objective answer?While it’s a difficult question to answer, as a manager, you should consider it nonetheless – there’s a lot of truth to the saying, “People don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.” Over the past few years, a number of reliable surveys have been conducted to examine the reasons employees ... Read More
How to Show Employee Appreciation
It’s the time of year when the days get shorter, the nights get longer and whenever you go out, you have to bundle up in winter gear just to stop your fingers and toes from turning into icicles. It’s also the season when we all start to look forward to the holidays as a welcome break from the cold and dark. The holidays are also the time when you might pause to reflect and express your gratitude f ... Read More
How to Handle Year-End Stress
It was still dark when you left for work this morning. Due to a heavy rainstorm, your commute took 30 minutes longer than usual. And when you arrived at the office, you discovered that two of your employees had called in sick with the flu. Since you’re on a deadline, this means you’ll have to take on their most pressing tasks and divide the remaining responsibilities between the rest of the team—w ... Read More
The Value of Upskilling Your Employees
In recent years, companies have repeatedly experienced how new, disruptive technologies keep changing the world of work. Digital transformation has an impact on the kind of products and services customers want, as well as on how companies produce and deliver them. For example, thanks to wearables, hyper connectivity and big data analytics, physicians can now not only monitor their patients’ vitals ... Read More
How Working Less Will Help You Work Better
It’s no news that Millennial employees value a good work-life balance. Over the past years, numerous hiring managers have leveraged this fact to attract top talent. Managers themselves, however, often find it difficult to strike a good balance between work and their personal lives. This can be caused by an organizational culture where regular employees are encouraged to maintain a good work-life b ... Read More
How to Organize a Company Retreat
Fall is a good time for an annual retreat. Most of your employees are well-rested after the summer. New entry-level hires often start in August or September, so a retreat provides an opportunity for them to get to know everyone. In addition, for most industries, fall is a relatively slow time of year, which makes it easier to shut down the office. With Q4 ahead of you, it’s a good time to take a l ... Read More
The Benefits of Multi-Generational Mentorships
It seems like just a few years ago that managers and HR professionals everywhere were talking about the impact of Millennials in the workplace. Millennials, also known as Gen Y, were different from Gen X and Baby Boomers. The first generation to have grown up with hyper connectivity and social media, they had their own distinct views of why and how to work. Those views initially shook up the workp ... Read More
Top 7 Reads for Managers
If you’re a good manager, you make sure to stay up to date on developments in your industry. If you’re a great manager, you also stay up to date on developments in the field of management. Reading the following seven publications will help:Harvard Business Review: As one of the most respected business magazines in the world, Harvard Business Review provides academic insights into developments and ... Read More
Learning From a Failure
Nobody likes to fail.When you’re a manager leading a team that aims to excel and innovate, however, it’s an inevitable part of the job. In fact, in a Harvard Business Review article titled “Increase Your Return on Failure,” Julian Birkshaw and Martine Haas cited a survey that showed that 31 percent of professionals believed a risk-averse culture was a major obstacle to innovation.It’s only logical ... Read More
Tired Networking Burnout
It’s a well-known fact that networking is a critical aspect of every manager’s life. Professionals who have large networks and maintain strong relationships with their contacts feel more supported and are more likely to hear about business and career opportunities than those who don’t.With increased connectivity and globalization, networking has expanded considerably. Thanks to LinkedIn – the prof ... Read More
Engagement After Summer Vacation
Summer’s over, and that means everyone’s back in the office. But with temperatures still high and the days still long, some of your employees might feel less engaged than usual. After everyone has shared vacation photos and had the opportunity to catch up, the reality of the nine to five routine can suddenly feel like a real drag.As the manager, you’re fully aware of the cost of disengagement. Whe ... Read More
Taking a Sabbatical from Work
How would you like to take six months off work? Or maybe even a year?Chances are, your first thought is, “Sounds great!” And your next thoughts are, “How will I pay for it? And what about my job?”Those are both good questions. You might be surprised to learn that an increasing number of professionals are taking sabbaticals—periods of extended leave—with full approval of their employer. What’s more ... Read More
Eight Networking Mistakes to Avoid
Everyone knows networking is important to your career. Contacts you meet at work, during work-related events and even in your personal life can inform you about industry developments, job opportunities, new clients and much more. Networking requires people skills, patience and commitment—and unfortunately, it’s all too easy to forget something or behave in a way that’s not well received. Avoid co ... Read More
How to Maximize Employee Potential
A company is only as good as its employees. Talented, productive workers who are engaged with their employer are critical to each organization’s success. According to a press release from The Conference Board of Canada, however, only 27% of Canadians would consider themselves to be highly engaged at work. In addition, an employee’s relationship with his or her manager was listed as one of the top ... Read More
Generation Z and the Workplace
For the past decade or so, employers, HR professionals and recruiters have done their best to analyze and understand Millennials, in order to foster productive work environments. Numerous articles have been written discussing Millennials’ desire for a better work-life balance than their parents and grandparents, and their preference for employers who are socially responsible and contribute to the ... Read More
7 Habits of Successful Managers
Everyone encounters at least one during our career: a highly successful manager who appears to always know the right strategy, make the right choice and attract precisely those employees, partners, and clients the company needs in order to improve operations.But what is it that makes these managers so special? What do they have that the rest of us don’t?You might be surprised to hear that most don ... Read More
Top 5 Leadership Podcasts
Let’s face it: as a manager, even if you’re on a beach thousands of miles from the office, your job is never far from your thoughts. So why not absorb some leadership advice while you’re soaking up the sun (protected with adequate sunscreen, of course)?Here are our top five leadership podcasts for your summer vacation listening and learning pleasure:Off the Charts Business Podcast. Nathalie Lussie ... Read More
Building Transferable Skills Over the Summer
When you booked that two-week total immersion rock-climbing clinic in the Rocky Mountains, did it cross your mind that you might be doing something to advance your career?How about when you—admittedly a bit reluctantly—volunteered to help your younger brother get his fixer-upper move-in ready before he and his partner become parents next fall?Or when you decided to take your 1975 Chevy Caprice Co ... Read More
The Value of a Flexible Management Style
You’re a “hands-off” kind of manager. You typically place a lot of trust in your employees and rely on them to deliver. But on this latest project, you’re rapidly becoming aware that what you’ve been doing for years suddenly isn’t working. Your most junior employee keeps asking for your approval, and even your more seasoned workers seem more insecure than normal.Of course, you start to ask yourse ... Read More
6 Tips for Networking Events
We all know that our networks are critical to professional success. They provide us with news, leads, support, information and opportunities for advancement. That’s why in just 14 short years, LinkedIn became the world’s largest professional networking site. More than 400 million professionals use it—and what could be easier than filling out your profile, uploading your contact list, and then wat ... Read More
Four Time-Saving Tech Tips for Managers
For most managers, it seems as if there are never enough hours in the day.Every time you cross something off your to-do list, another task comes along. As soon as one meeting ends, a request for another comes in. Even if you stay late to finally work your way through all of those unanswered emails, another 50 messages will be waiting for you by the time you get to the office the next morning.To a ... Read More
How Hiring a Mature Worker Can Add Value to Your Team
Picture the following scene.You’re looking to hire a new employee, and today’s the first day you’re interviewing candidates. The first two applicants you speak with meet most of your requirements, but you have the feeling there’s someone out there who’s a better fit for the job. You’re cautiously optimistic about the third candidate of the day, but when they arrive, you’re taken by surprise. He’s ... Read More
Is Your Work-Life Balance Off-Balance?
No matter how good you are at your job and how well you balance work with your personal life, sometimes, it becomes more difficult to maintain that balance. For example, your company’s about to launch a new service, and you’re working overtime every day to beat the deadline. Maybe your child is seriously ill, and you’re spending as many hours at the hospital as at work. Or perhaps you’ve been stud ... Read More
Super Manager? Why You Really Should Take a Vacation This Summer
Your team members are all excitedly talking about their upcoming vacations—but all you can think about is getting a head start on the next project.Maybe your significant other suggests going to the Bahamas for a week, but you ask for a rain check because you “can’t get away.”Or your office is actually going to shut down for a week in July, but you’re already planning the projects you’re going to w ... Read More
Four Ways to Increase Your Team’s Engagement
Are your employees engaged? Are they able to use their skills and talents? Do they go the extra mile to get things right? Do they feel accountable not only for their own performance, but also for that of your entire team—as well as your company?Chances are, some of your employees are more engaged than others. A study by Gallup, published in 2015 and summarized in Amy Adkins’ article “Majority of U ... Read More
Why You Should Stay In Touch with Former Employees
You’re a great manager. Your people trust you, your higher ups know they can rely on you and you enjoy doing a good job for your company.Yet this doesn’t guarantee your team members will stay with you indefinitely. In fact, a 2015 study showed that workers stayed an average of 2.6 years in a position, according to Steve Goldstein in his MarketWatch article “Workers still clinging to jobs longer th ... Read More
How Self-Taught Employees Can Enhance Your Team
Picture this scenario: You’re looking for a new senior systems administrator. You’ve received a number of applications and have just started reviewing them. The first candidate has a BS in computer science from a reputable college. He completed a six-month internship in the support department of a leading software producer and has worked as a junior systems administrator at a large regional compan ... Read More
Top Five Management Mistakes You Should Always Avoid
“Nobody’s perfect.”That’s the punch line in the 1959 hit movie Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Though it was a perfect ending to that movie, it’s not really the best motto to live by when it comes to your professional performance. As an aspirational manager, you should always strive to improve your skills—even if perfection is bound to remain out of reach. W ... Read More
Four Habits for Career Success
As an aspirational manager, you’ve already mapped out your career path and you know where you’re going. But in addition to exceeding expectations in all things work-related, there’s one more way you can beat the competition for that promotion to middle management—and that’s to adopt habits that get you poised for success. Here are four of the most critical habits you’ll need.Maximize your hours. P ... Read More
Five Management Strengths
Are you a born leader? Someone people instinctively trust, respect and follow?Or are you a manager who has to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses in order to continuously enhance your professional performanceThough some people undoubtedly possess natural leadership skills, most of us fall into the second category. The advantage here is that when you have to make conscious decisions about how ... Read More
Charity Work and Employee Engagement
How would you like to spend your Saturday mornings with your company’s CEO and your team of employees… working in a local soup kitchen?What would you think of supporting a reading program for at-risk youth in your town—one where your employees can volunteer for a couple of hours each week and help kids learn to read?Or how would you feel about your entire team spending a long weekend helping build ... Read More
Project Nurturing
Imagine this: Your team is about to begin creating a marketing campaign for a new product. You’ve developed many campaigns together in the past, but this time, there’s an excited buzz among your employees. Why? For the first time, you’ll be targeting a young audience, one that doesn’t just use Twitter and Instagram to communicate with their friends, but practically lives on Snapchat. This means yo ... Read More
A Taste of Success: Managers and Top Chefs
What do managers and top chefs have in common? More than you might expect. Both have to effectively manage a team of people, oftentimes under intense pressure. Both have to motivate as well as educate their people. And both have to create products or services that their customers want and need.Some of the TV chefs we know and love also have their own unique qualities that make them superstars—and ... Read More
Create a Healthier Workplace
Do your employees spend the majority of their workdays sitting at their desks in their cubicles?If so, they could be on their way to suffering from some serious health conditions as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. This in turn will have some adverse and costly consequences for your company, including increased absenteeism due to illness; higher insurance costs; and increased turnover rates.How ... Read More
Improve Your Trustworthiness
During an election, it's often the trustworthiness of a candidate that makes the final decision in the minds of voters. A candidate who is exposed by the press as having appropriated public funding for his or her own private use instantly loses traction. At the same time, when photographs surface that support another candidate’s claim of having been active in civil rights or humanitarian causes, t ... Read More
Motivate Your Remote Employees
In recent years, the number of people working remotely has grown considerably. Faster Internet speeds and hyperconnectivity—the ability to be connected to the Internet using a wide variety of devices—make it possible for employees and contingent workers to make their home their workplace.In fact, GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com reports that 3.7 million workers now work at least half of their working ... Read More
Career Advancement Styles
Are you a rising star or an unstoppable freight train? Not sure? Then you’d better read on.Some managers enter the workplace in their early 20s, propel themselves into middle management within a year, and climb into upper management before their 30th birthday. Others move steadily, according to a long-established plan, through the ranks to the upper echelons of a company. Yet others make one or tw ... Read More
Improve Employee Performance
As a manager, you’re responsible for the performance of each one of your employees. Not only that, but ideally, you’ll provide your people with the resources and support to optimize their performance and grow in their careers.Naturally, everybody can have a bad day or even a bad week, but if someone’s performance is consistently subpar, you need to take action to improve it and help them to succee ... Read More
Successful Mentorship: 7 Steps
Mentorship programs have become increasingly important in the workplace.According to Sarah Kessler in her Inc. article “How to Start a Mentoring Program,’ mentoring can enhance employee satisfaction, engagement and retention. It can also attract more talent, supplement onboarding and provide employees with all-important guidance in their careers. It can serve as an inexpensive yet effective way to ... Read More
Supporting a Grieving Employee
During your career, there’s a very real chance that you’ll encounter a grieving employee. Since few of us have the luxury of taking an extended leave, a significant part of the grieving process will take place at work. Though most of us try to check our personal troubles at the door when we enter the workplace, grief isn’t an emotion that can be so easily regulated. No matter how much work has pil ... Read More
Retaining Female Talent in Tech
It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in the tech industry. Tech has long been a male-dominated field, and the relatively few women who entered the industry often leave for good after a couple of years.The Anita Borg Institute states in its report “Innovation by Design: The Case for Investing in Women” that Fortune 500 companies with a minimum of three female directors saw a 66 percent or ... Read More
Seven Tips on Holding a Successful First Meeting
Whether you’re meeting with a new client or a new stakeholder, your first meeting can determine how the rest of that professional relationship will evolve; it’s crucial to establish a connection on which you can build a strong relationship.Yet even when there’s an obvious shared goal, there can be personality, etiquette or cultural differences that get in the way of smooth and fruitful discourse.F ... Read More
Tips for Relocating with Your Company
Increasingly, companies are relocating from large cities to small towns or rural areas for financial reasons. At the same time, more and more start-ups move from home offices in the suburbs or the city to buildings in office parks. This means that one day, you might be asked to relocate along with your company.While some people may decide against moving because it isn’t right for their lifestyle, ... Read More
7 Habits of Thought Leaders
One of the best things you can do for your career is to position yourself as a thought leader in your field. With so many professionals publishing articles, blogs and e-books on a variety of topics, how can you stand out from the crowd?The first thing to keep in mind is what a thought leader actually does: develop and communicate new, unique insights into a specific topic. He or she inspires other ... Read More
Stay Motivated at Work
You arrive at work on a rainy Monday morning to find your team grumpy and unenthusiastic. You put on your sunniest smile and invite them to discuss the workload for the upcoming week, but to no avail: the general negativity remains. Finally, everybody goes to his or her cubicle and gets to work. You enter your office, close the door behind you… and suddenly, you feel completely drained of energy a ... Read More
How to Retain Top Talent
Every company needs outstanding employees in order to remain competitive. When you have one or more high-performing, high-potential employees on your team, you want to keep them in your company—especially when you’ve invested a lot of time and money in training them and developing their careers.It’s an unfortunate reality of business, however, that you can suddenly and unexpectedly lose one of you ... Read More
Enhance Your Focus to Become a Better Manager
In today’s workplace, we’re inundated with distractions. Phone calls, text messages, instant messages, emails and in-person meetings all require our attention – often all at the same time. Constant interruptions make it harder to focus on the matter at hand and often wind up detracting from the quality of our work.How distractions impact our focusDue to our devices and constant connectivity, we’re ... Read More
Perform a SWOT Analysis to Improve Your Team’s Performance
A SWOT analysis is a relatively simple but effective tool that can help you analyze the capabilities of your team and pinpoint where there’s room for improvement. SWOT stands for:Strengths: Internal qualities that give your team a competitive advantageWeaknesses: Internal weaknesses where your team is vulnerableOpportunities: External conditions that could lead to growthThreats: External condition ... Read More
10 Tips for Staying Alert and On Top of Your Game
If you travel a lot for business, you’re used to the long lines at airports, the inevitable flight delays and the jetlag from travelling between different time zones. You’ve most likely figured out how to find the nearest coffee place when disembarking from a flight; how to hail a cab with a cup of coffee in one hand and your suitcase in the other; how to pack and unpack your travel bags in 10 min ... Read More
Incorporating Empathy to Improve Employee Engagement
In recent years, employers have become increasingly concerned about reports of low employee engagement rates contributing to high turnover and impaired business performance. As a result, enhancing employee engagement has become a primary business goal for many companies in their talent management strategies. Though these strategies often rely on workforce analytics and employee feedback to measure ... Read More
Strategies to Move Your Career Forward
It can sneak up on you: that unsettling feeling that even though you’re performing well in your job, you’re not developing your skills and knowledge anymore. Reaching a plateau is perfectly normal once you’ve mastered the responsibilities of your position. If you’re an aspirational manager, however, you’ll want to move your career forward. The following eight strategies can help.1. Assess where yo ... Read More
Four Areas Where Millennials Require a Different Approach
According to recent studies, Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce as of this year. Understanding what motivates Millennials and harnessing that knowledge in effective management techniques is necessary for companies to create a productive and innovative workforce.Why Millennials are differentBorn between 1980 and 2000, Millennials often come from double-income families in which ... Read More
Morph Challenges into Opportunities
As experienced managers are firmly aware, days without challenges, large or small, simply do not exist. In the constantly competitive business environment of the 21st century, the challenges facing management will change, but never diminish.Understanding this fact of business life is important to allow you to keep the competitive edge and commitment to excellence necessary to succeed. Don’t waste ... Read More
Understand your Management Style to Improve your Career
A management style is a combination of personality, experience, education, industry, motivation, corporate culture, ambition and analytical skills. This may be a complex and elusive mixture to identify, but by understanding your style components, you can focus on the features that could be more effective and improve your management results.The following questions can help you identify your managem ... Read More
How to Get the Most from a Mentor Relationship
Most managers and business people agree that having a mentor—within or outside your employer company—is very valuable to your career development; experienced, knowledgeable and/or influential people can accelerate your career to the fast track better than you can do it yourself, regardless of the high performance you achieve.Along with becoming a trusted advisor, your mentor will become your frien ... Read More
Manager or Leader
People often define the difference between managers and leaders in simple terms: managers have subordinates, while leaders have followers. Others believe that managers focus on stability and consistency, while leaders target change. Both bring value to their employers and themselves, but is one really better than the other?A slightly different picture painted by some experts describes managers as ... Read More
Use Work-Life Balance to Improve your Performance
Developing an effective work-life balance strategy helps your health, mood, outlook, family, workplace relations and all other conditions that life may bring. There are few, if any, work related or quality-of-life situations that won’t benefit from a positive balance. Like any other habit, a good work-life balance is hard to break once established—and you won’t want to change this one. There is on ... Read More
Workplace Conflict
Just as disagreements between individuals can be triggered by a myriad of different reasons, workplace conflict can be generated by a number of situations. In almost every case, however, workplace conflict falls into one of these two types:1. Task conflict (substantive or issue oriented)2. Personal conflict (often called a personality conflict)Task conflict involves employee disagreements about wo ... Read More

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