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The hiring process is looking a lot different these days. Interviews are done virtually and many new hires have yet to meet their new colleagues in person.
For new managers, joining a team in a remote world can be particularly challenging. There are no face-to-face meetings with your direct reports, lunches with coworkers or office drop-ins.
But there are things new managers can do to help build trust, learn about their new team and set expectations.
Go on a listening tour. If possible, set up one-on-one video calls with your team and ask a lot of questions: What is your role? What are any pain points? What can I do to help you?
Communicate often. Don’t worry about overcommunicating, but be clear and concise with what you are saying. Being vague can leave people guessing and lead to unnecessary anxiety.
Get input on goals. You want to set ambitious goals that push the team – but be sure to get feedback before formalizing them.
Read more about one manager’s journey during the pandemic and other tips on leading.
Brace for more job losses
The US economy has been adding jobs since May, but that could change in the coming months as more shutdowns loom.
While experts don’t expect the kind of mass layoffs we saw earlier in the year, there are signs that hiring is slowing down.
November’s job report, which showed a sharp decline in the pace of hiring, has some experts worried that the US will lose more jobs before vaccines are widely available, reports CNN Business’ Matt Egan.
And while the unemployment rate dropped last month, it was mostly because more workers left the labor market and are no longer searching for work – not a good sign.
Got back pain? Listen up
Working from the couch, kitchen table or anywhere in between would be fine if working from home was only going to last a few months.
But here we are… nine months later.
And if you are waking up with new aches and pains, your home office setup could be the problem.
Ergonomic issues can lead to permanent pain and disability if not addressed, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Feintzeig.
She talked to experts to get some tips on how to work comfortably:
Choose your chair wisely: Skip backless stools and wooden kitchen chairs.
Mind desk size: Look for a space that is 30- to 36-inches deep and three or more feet wide.
Sit right: Avoid rounding your back when you sit and try relaxing your shoulders and keeping your elbows at your side.
Get more tips here.
WFH tip: Easy ergonomic fixes
Fixing your home office situation doesn’t have to take a lot of time – or cost a lot of money. Vivienne Fleischer, co-founder of Performance Based Ergonomics, identifies common household items that can improve your posture:
1. Look no further than your ironing board to create a work surface that can be easily adjusted for both sitting and standing.
2. Place your laptop on a cardboard box, a stack of books, or a ream or two of paper to raise your laptop screen to eye level. Add an external keyboard and mouse to keep them at elbow height which in turn will keep your arms at your sides.
3. Working on the dining room table or kitchen counter? This may make your work surface too high, so grab a cookie sheet or firm piece of cardboard to create a lap desk for your keyboard and mouse. That way, you can keep your monitor where it is and give your hunched shoulders and outstretched arms a much-needed break!
See ya’ later, Silicon Valley!
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is moving its headquarters from San Jose to Spring, Texas.
The spinoff of Silicon Valley pioneer Hewlett-Packard said the decision to relocate to Spring, which is close to Houston, was based on business needs, cost savings opportunities and plans to have employees spend less time in the office after the pandemic.
The move isn’t totally shocking: Houston is the company’s largest US employment hub. And it’s been building a new campus in the area.
The move will likely mean cost savings for the company, which it said it “can reinvest in key areas of our business and innovation.” HPE also promises the relocation won’t result in any layoffs.
Read more about the move here.
Top companies for women execs
Working Mother Media published its list of the “Top Companies for Executive Women 2020+.” To be considered, companies must have at least two women on their boards of directors, a US-based CEO and at least 1,000 US employees.
Here are the top 10 companies in alphabetical order:
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- General Mills
- Johnson & Johnson
- Marriott International
- Procter & Gamble
Get the full list here
Even Santa is on Zoom these days.
People who have played the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Claus in person are now offering virtual meet and greets with elaborate backgrounds and spot-on costumes.
And it’s turning out to be a pretty lucrative pivot.
“We’re expecting to triple or quadruple our income this season,” one Santa actor told my colleague Samantha Murphy Kelly.
Read more about the different offerings here.