Category Archives: HR Practice

Orientation Is Not Onboarding: The Difference Makes a Big Difference

After months of screening resumes and interviewing candidates, you found the perfect person to fill your position. You’ve negotiated and had an offer accepted. Now what? If you spend some time giving your new hire a thorough orientation, (which generally includes providing basic information about the library, its policies, procedures, and work environment) you’re off to a good start. What’s next? Do you show the person to their office, say, “Let me know if you have any questions,” and then Read the rest

10 Things Great Managers Never Say to Their Employees

What type of manager are you? If an employee doesn’t understand why something needs to be done, do you provide more detail? Do you help them see how doing what you’ve asked will benefit them, the team, and the library as a whole? Or do you say something like, “You don’t need to understand why we’re doing it this way. Just do what I asked you to do.”? Or, how about if an employee requests vacation time? Do you grant Read the rest

3 Strategies for Supporting and Advocating for Neurodivergent Employees

You may remember that earlier this year and late last year, several issues of Library Worklife included articles on neurodiverse workers. Kelly McDaniel, the author of the two-part article, We Need to Talk About How We Treat Library Workers Who Are Neurodivergent, explained that “Neurodiversity is a relatively recent term (coined in the 1990s) that recasts the notion that there is only one “normal” or “right” way that the human brain perceives, processes, and interacts with information, but Read the rest

How to Become a Better Leader

Have you been fortunate enough to work for a great boss – someone who listened to you, valued you, motivated you, and was a strong leader? Most great leaders are not born as such. They are often taught and mentored by others. But what makes someone a good leader? If you research the topic, you will undoubtedly find several resources that include lists of character traits of good leaders. You might also find lists that include factors such as being Read the rest

Common Traps for New Managers to Avoid

Have you ever worked for someone who tried to control every aspect of your job? I remember working for someone who was such a micromanager, that I was afraid to take vacations. When I was away from the office, she would riffle through things on my desk. Then, when I returned from vacation, I would get called into her office to be lectured about a document she’d found, or something that was not completed before I went on vacation. It Read the rest

How to Improve Employee Satisfaction in the Workplace

What happens when one of your employees is dissatisfied with their job and decides to quit? How long would it take to fill the position? How does the work get accomplished while you search for a replacement? Will one or more of the remaining staff be forced to take on additional work? Does employee morale take a dive? Does customer service suffer when you are short-staffed? What’s the cost to post the position, reply to applicants, schedule interviews, select a Read the rest

‘Quiet Firing’ is No Way to Manage People

Have you ever experienced (or witnessed) a work environment where a manager makes conditions so uncomfortable that you (or someone you know) decides to quit? These conditions might include consistently being denied promotions and raises, despite hard work and accomplishments; being left out of important meetings and decisions; being given an overwhelming workload or unreasonable deadlines; and/or being subjected to discriminatory behavior or language. Rather than dealing with issues head on with constructive feedback and needed resources, some managers deny Read the rest

Six Tips to Engage Job Candidates on Your Career Site

How easy is it for someone interested in working at your library to find open positions on your website? How many clicks does it take to get to a list of your vacant positions? Have you ever gone to your home page and tried to find the available jobs (acting as if you were a job candidate)? Was it frustrating? Does your site inspire job seekers to take the leap and apply? Or does it discourage them? This brief articleRead the rest

How to Use Active Listening Skills to Become a Better Colleague and Manager

Have you ever seen the 1957 movie Desk Set starring Katherine Hepburn, Spenser Tracy, and Gig Young? The film focuses on the reference library of a fictional network, the Federal Broadcasting Network. There is a scene in the movie where someone calls the library and asks for specific information. The person who answered the phone was at the library assisting with the installation of a new computer system. She was not a librarian. She did not listen completely to Read the rest

Employers Need to Provide Mental Health Resources to Keep Women in the Workforce

As I waited for a committee meeting to begin last week, the members chatted about life. Most talked about how difficult it is to engage in self-care activities. The recurring theme was that our members ─all women─ felt stressed and overwhelmed by all their responsibilities. One person mentioned how tired she felt because she still had to do much of the caregiving for her family after a full day at work. When she arrives home from work, she is usually Read the rest