Yes, you’re going to have underperforming employees. But that’s OK!

Yes, you’re going to have underperforming employees. But that’s OK!

Hey Lovelies!

So at some point in a managers time overseeing employees they will be in a position where they need to address an underperforming employee. Boo 👎🏻 I know! But if you are striving to take that next step in your career, get to know the basics now so it’s easier when that time comes for you!

It is legit one of the hardest things having to talk to someone about the fact that they aren’t where you want or need them to be performance wise. But it’s so much worse not only for you but in all honesty for them too. Whether your company is the last stop for them or just a stepping stone they won’t be able to learn and grow if they don’t know what isn’t working and where they can focus on improving.

Don’t get stuck by getting passed over because you can’t handle uncomfortable or difficult situations or conversations. Girl you can do it!

I remember the first time I had to have a formal warning meeting with a formal letter and all, I ended up having an anxiety attack and couldn’t do it! I felt terrible, my 2IC had to take over for me and I went for a walk to get some air and cool off. SUCH a learning curve for me. Don’t stress if you don’t get it right every time – it’s important to know that the more you do the more you will learn yourself.

How do you think our elders became wise? Well they made a tonne of mistakes and they learnt from them of course!

So whatever an underperforming employee means to you and your company, whilst obviously important doesn’t really change the basics on how to approach it.

My two key points are:

1. Honesty, and

2. Heart

If you are honest and truly care the outcome will be far more successful than you may realise. If you don’t care about the people, the job, the business or the clients then I’m not so sure you are in the right job babe!

Take the time to find out what’s going on with the employee, let them know what’s concerning you & work together to come to a relevant and positive outcome. It’s not about passing blame or making them feel incompetent or uncomfortable so do your best to keep it light but honest – you want to get around the problem but the right way.

It’s also a good idea to check in on them every now and then since having the chat, don’t just “set and forget”. It’s seriously not an effective management style!

I will just say, very clearly, getting angry and frustrated at your employee is not going to get you anywhere. In fact it’s probably going to make matters far worse. It’s not good for you, your employee, clients or business.

Keep on learning lovely, and don’t forget to find our Facebook Group, Her Career Collective, where we can talk about these things whenever you need!

Love Sarah xxx

The Minute-Taker

The Minute-Taker

Are you tasked with taking minutes at work? I am a stickler for accuracy of information so I always used to volunteer to take the minutes so there was no misunderstanding, incorrect information or missed action items.

Minutes aren’t meant to be a word for word account of the meeting, just the relevant points should be noted down for reference. Whatever the topic or agenda, minutes are what will be referred to in the future when recounting this meeting or topics discussed.

So many people see the minute taker as a less than stellar role to be tasked with. Well, ladies, you couldn’t be more wrong as it’s actually the most important role in the meeting and is usually entrusted to someone who the chairperson is confident in and trusts.

Detail is key, and it’s vital that you understand what is being said – enough so that you can relay the information in the minutes without typing out word for word of what was said. If you are able to, get a copy of the minutes prior to the meeting and read through it. This will give you a basic understanding of what’s going to be discussed so if there’s anything you aren’t sure of or need to clarify you can do so before the meeting commences.

Once the meeting has commenced, usually the minute taker is just there to record and not “part of” the meeting so to speak. That certainly doesn’t mean you cannot speak if you need to unless specifically advised. So someone spoke too fast or skipped forward on to another topic without identifying the relevant action item or who would be responsible, you didn’t understand something or perhaps someone has a strong accent making it difficult to understand. It is so much easier to ask and clarify at the time! Trust me. The information is fresh and you are all still in the moment, don’t wait til after the meeting as it’s no longer fresh to recall the details and can lead to mistakes or incorrect minutes. If you can’t interrupt during the meeting take notes and clarify at the end of the meeting before leaving.

If you must clarify something, be quick and to the point so the meeting can continue without delay. Also be specific! Words such as summarise, clarify, or explain are a good place to start – or if there’s a tonne of jargon ask for them to relay it in laymen’s terms.

Typically when attending meetings there’s no seat allocation, except perhaps for the Chairperson. I always recommend getting in a few minutes early so you can claim the right seating for optimal positioning.

Make sure you get copies of any relevant handouts, presentations or other materials used or discussed during the meeting for reference in the minutes. Imagine checking the minutes in 2 months time and they reference a presentation or document but no access to it – doesn’t do anyone much good now does it!

I also always ask for feedback at the end of the meeting and once the minutes have been read because there’s always room for improvement!

What has your experience been with taking minutes? I’d love to hear from you.

Love Sarah xxx

Are confidential employee surveys really confidential?

Are confidential employee surveys really confidential?

Hey Lovelies,

Have you ever been asked to complete a “confidential employee survey” at your workplace? One thing I have been asked a million and one times is “is it really confidential?”.

Honestly, there is no way to truly know or answer this question effectively as each company could conduct their surveys differently.

Common ways employee surveys are completed:

  1. Hand written
  2. Typed and emailed
  3. Typed and printed
  4. Online survey program
  5. Confidential meeting with notes
  6. Phone meeting through 3rd party

As you can imagine, many of these could end up with access to who completed each survey. The options where a 3rd party or a specific program are conducting the survey will pride themselves on confidentiality otherwise they wouldn’t have a successful business. So you can rest assured in most cases this is secure!

It’s more when you are having to send your answers directly or hand write them, basically any way that gives the ability to identify you as the person completing the survey. In these cases, I would do everything possible to distance yourself from how it is returned to your employer, so your answers are not held against you later.

Some companies do not have the capacity or means to use a 3rd party, so it is common to use internal options instead. These surveys can be huge for a company so it’s always important to ensure you are completing these with 100% honesty. As scary as that might seem with the chance you may be identified, a company is asking for feedback for a reason and won’t be able to change or improve without the right feedback.

Don’t be afraid to ask if the surveys are confidential either, do what you need to do! If you get a follow up request on completing the survey, red flag that they know you haven’t completed one yet!

Remember, don’t include anything that you don’t want coming back to you. In any case, there is always a chance it can be identified as you – so be sure you are ready to have your name put next to it if it comes to it.

In an ideal world a company wouldn’t need to conduct these types of surveys, but these days it can be difficult for some employees to speak up especially if they have a difficult relationship with their direct manager or if senior management are not the best listeners. It can be a good sign having a company conduct these surveys as they may have come to the point where they are ready to listen and hear what their employees have to say. While it might be later, it’s better than never!

Give it your all, give honest feedback whenever and however you can – you don’t need to wait for a survey like this. Always follow up too, because it’s no good raising something if it never goes anywhere with management.

Good luck lovelies,

Love Sarah xxx

Struggling to find awesome work clothes?

Struggling to find awesome work clothes?

Hey Lovelies!

I struggle finding great looking, comfortable and AFFORDABLE clothes for work. It can be hard to get all three of these traits but it’s not impossible! So here’s a quick list of the top places I look to when I need a wardrobe update!

  1. Boohoo
  2. Portmans
  3. Forever New
  4. ASOS
  5. Valley Girl
  6. Temt
  7. Forcast
  8. H&M
  9. Target
  10. Kmart
  11. Showpo
  12. Zara
  13. Myer
  14. David Jones
  15. Sports Girl

There are a heap of other places you could go to as well, but these are always my first “go to” shops to find some amazing outfits!

What’s awesome is they are all relatively reasonable with pricing. Some are more expensive than others but nothing “too” crazy. Just depends on your budget and what you want to spend really.

Depending on your job and workplace culture will make a big difference in where you should shop for work clothes, but the above list is suitable for so many different work styles from corporate to comfortable / casual.

Take a look, I am not getting anything out of promoting these businesses and in no way, shape or form have they endorsed me to do so! I literally just love their items and wanted to share them with you!

Love Sarah xxx

Christmas Party! Do’s… and Don’ts! 

Christmas Party! Do’s… and Don’ts! 

Hey Lovelies,

I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by! I feel as each year passes they just get faster and faster. And now we are coming up to December or otherwise known as the 🎄❄️Christmas🎁🥂season!

What comes with Christmas is work Christmas parties or events, yay! I honestly LOVE work Christmas parties. Any time you get to hang out with your colleagues (even better if it’s on the bosses dime – who wouldn’t love that?!).

So I thought I’d share a few do’s and don’ts for work Christmas functions… because damn girl we all know how it can get! 💃🏼🍾

1. Don’t get off your face drunk, because everyone knows it can lead to way too many embarrassing things that you will just want to forget!

2. Dress for the occasion! So it’s Christmas, but it’s not stripmas. There is a time to be half naked and your work Christmas party isn’t one of those times. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sexy outfit but just keep it in check!

3. Don’t leave the minute the bar tab ends. Your boss is still going to notice what their employees are doing – stick around or buy another drink once the tab ends. Appreciation is super important!

4. On the appreciation note, do take the time to chat to your boss, and all upper management. Work events are a perfect opportunity to talk to upper management that you would otherwise never have a “reason” to chat to them. They are likely to ask about you or remember you later! Plus not many people think to say thank you. It’s nice to be appreciated, so show you appreciate your boss hosting the event.

5. Offer to buy your boss a drink to say thank you for a great year.

6. Don’t let people drink drive home, within your power of course. Offer to call a cab or Uber, or if you are driving and it’s not a hassle drop them home.

7. Do have a great time and relax! It’s not every day you’re with your work mates and don’t have to do any work!

8. Don’t talk all about work! And certainly don’t whinge or complain about work either.

9. Bring your partner along if they’re invited! It’s a great chance for your partner to meet and mingle with your colleagues and boss.

10. Don’t bring a friend or family member in place of your partner, it’s just not what your plus one is for!

So this list could go on forever, but we’ve covered the basics ladies. Got any great Christmas Party stories or horror stories to share? Let me know!

Enjoy the Christmas season babes!

Love Sarah xxx