Controlling rumors

One more interesting article from!!!

Here are some ideas in helping with rumor control:

Evaluate the substance of the rumor. See if there is a plausible explanation. For example, is equipment taken out of service because it is being sold, or because it is broken?

Go to the source. When hearing a rumor, take it to your manager for confirmation rather than spreading to other associates. As a manager, encourage associates to bring you any rumors before spreading them. Phone calls to responsible parties may be in order to verify or debunk the information. For example, have rooms been reserved for special announcements, or for regular department meetings?

Ask for rumors at department meetings. The first agenda item on every department meeting should be the relating of any and all rumors. Again, this enables people to address them openly.

Continue to share all you know. The reason rumors grow faster than weeds is because they are filling empty spaces in peoples' imagination. Continuously reinforce the truth as you know it, and promise to address with your manager anything you might hear for either debunking or substantiation.

Help people focus on their jobs. Help associates understand that focusing efforts and time on collecting and spreading unsubstantiated rumors hurts themselves and the company.

Don't take every abnormality as a sign. Just because something was different (a meeting location changed, different people at the site, a harvest moon in the summer, whatever) does not mean a rumor is true. Help people see things as they are, versus reading dire consequences into innocent actions.

Learn to laugh. Learn to see, and help others see, that rumors are just that: rumors. Encourage associates to find the humor in what they hear.

In sumary, help those who focus on negative, dire rumors to ditch the rumors and focus on the things they can do something about!

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Informal Recognition

Recently I discovered and what to share some content from them:

Recognition is a powerful tool for helping associates get and stay motivated. When you recognize others you are letting them know they are valued and that their efforts are appreciated and important to the company.

Why: Here are some reasons why an associate should be recognized:

Performed duties of increased responsibility
Accomplished something others have not
Served notably in an important position
Covered for an absent associate
Accomplished more than peers
Performed the job with exceptional efficiency and/or effectiveness
Made recommendations that had a positive impact
Accomplished the same quality of work but with less people, less money, or shorter deadline
Displayed extra initiative
Demonstrated unusual creativity
Demonstrated extra enthusiasm
Saved money and/or time

Characteristics: The characteristics of effective informal recognition are:

Timely -- as soon as possible after the positive achievement
Proportional -- matches the action in type and degree of recognition
Specific -- identifies the positive behavior
Individual -- recognizes the person involved in the action
Sincere -- comes from the heart and shows you care
Personal -- reflects the personality of the recipient

How: You don't have to spend a lot of money, or any money at all, to recognize associates effectively. Here are some specific ideas on recognizing others:

Give "Caught in the act" coupons (coupons that can be redeemed for free beverage)
Create and present certificates
Hand out "Lunch is on me" coupons
Present trophies or ribbons
Send personal notes to the associate
Send personal notes to the associate's family
Create a "year in review" booklet (pictures or articles highlighting associates' achievements)
Put up a bulletin board (post letters, pictures, thank you cards)
Have a "Friday Surprise"
Give a traveling trophy
Have associates determine recipient and presentation of the traveling trophy
Bring in donuts and drinks
Give tickets to sporting or cultural events
Call an associate into your office just to thank him/her (talk of nothing else)
Go to the associate's office to thank him/her
Post a thank-you note on the associate's door
Volunteer to do the associate's least desirable task for a day
Answer the person's telephone for a day
Have a senior member of management call on the associate to deliver the thanks
Wash the associate's car
Create a Hall of Fame wall with photos
Make a photo collage about a project's success
Stage a parade through the building for the associate
Take supporting associates out to lunch when YOU get a promotion
Present an Equalizer Bunny for keeping "going, and going, and going..."
Present a toy roadrunner for working fast and meeting shortened deadlines
Write your thank-you on a flip chart and place it prominently in the area or in front of the associate's door
Host a make-believe marathon and a corresponding awards ceremony for project members
Ask five people to go up to the person and say that you asked them to thank the associate for you
Write five or more thank-you's on Post-It-Notes and hide them in the associate's office/work area
Develop a "Behind the Scenes" Award for those usually not in the limelight
Name a space after an associate and put up a sign ("The Suzy Jones Corridor")
Buy lunch for the associate and three people of his/her choice
Bring the associate bagged lunches for a week
Make a thank you card by hand, with crayons, stickers, etc.
Cover the person's desk with balloons
Find out the associate's hobby and give an appropriate gift
Give the associate something for his/her children
Make a batch of cookies for the associate
Make and deliver a fruit basket

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Your Legacy

To assess the legacy you are leaving you should thank authors for the tips and ask yourself the following:

If I left today, what would people remember about me and my work?
A legacy is, by definition, a memory -- something left behind for others to follow, to emulate, to use. What are you leaving with the people with whom you interact today? What did you leave with people yesterday...last week? What do you want to leave with them tomorrow?

How does the work I am doing affect others -- is it the effect I want?
It's important to look not only at what you are doing, but at what others are doing as a result of your actions. This is a far more sophisticated measure of success, and a much more difficult one to measure, but it's worth the effort.

Is what I am doing helping someone else?
Making a difference is key, and the best way to make a difference is to ensure that your actions are in the interest of others. This not only leaves a positive legacy and impression long-term, but is also very rewarding short-term.

How well do I tie my current actions and projects to long-term results?
Legacies are not built in a single action or in the short term -- they take consistent behaviors over a long period of time to develop, to deepen and to become established.

Does the work I am producing truly satisfy me? Have I done my best?
Does it pass my own qualitative innovation test? Have I really stretched? Have I learned something in the process? If you were your boss, would you approve of what you are producing? To really do a good job, you must first satisfy yourself.

Will I brag about it next year? In five years? Will I brag about it to my grandchildren?

Can you see yourself with a grandchild on your knee, telling the story about what you accomplished in 2012? You only brag about things when you've pushed hard and made some leap into the unknown. When you've made a difference, you feel comfortable telling others about it.

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On-the-Job Training

Credit and tips belong to

By following the steps steps below, you will help associates effectively learn new tasks:

1. Plan the session

Review the job and the tasks within the job. Break down each task into the essential steps and logical sequence.
Review the organization and its' systems to ensure they are supportive of the tasks.
Prepare measurable instructional objectives.
Establish milestones and monitoring steps.

2. Prepare the learner

Establish rapport; put the learner at ease.
Discuss expectations; let the learner know it is acceptable to make mistakes. Errors are expected and together you will correct them.
Find out what the learner already knows about the task. Clear up any misconceptions.
Explain the OJT process you will be using and how it helps learning.
Arouse learner interest by stressing the task's importance and how it integrates into the department functions.
Tell the learner exactly what he/she will learn.
Encourage questions and provide answers immediately.

3. Present the task

Explain each segment of the task individually.
Demonstrate, in sequence, how each step should be done.
Use adult learning techniques -- draw on what the learner already knows, use repetition, reinforce immediately.
Emphasize key points and why they are important.
Encourage questions and provide answers immediately.

4. Perform the task

Have the learner explain each step that will be performed.
Have the learner demonstrate each step and explain why the step is important.
Observe the learner's performance -- look, listen, ask questions.
Correct errors immediately. When possible, guide the learner to correct his/her own mistakes.
Develop learner confidence by giving positive feedback.
Be open to new ways of doing things. If the learner has a better idea, change the process.
Teach the "tricks of the trade," but not the shortcuts.
Repeat until the learner knows the task -- reemphasize problem areas.

5. Phollow-up (hey...we had to make it P's somehow!)

Express faith in the learner.
Indicate who the learner should see in case of problems.
Give feedback -- be constructive, positive, and specific.
Check on performance vs. expectations and standards.
Encourage questions and provide answers immediately.
Coach as necessary -- slowly taper off.
Encourage independence. Empower the learner to accept responsibility and authority.
Make sure the learner knows his/her limits of authority.
Reinforce, recognize, and celebrate good performance.

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Ideas for Corporate Celebrating

Create Something:

Create a time capsule -- everyone brings a "show and tell" type item, such as a photo, tells about why it is significant, and places it in the "time capsule." The time capsule could be a decorated box, or whatever is needed to store the items. If the item is not tangible (e.g. a fun memory or story), the associate brings something that might represent the item, such as a small memento, or the story typed out on paper.

Create a department museum with various paraphernalia from the different businesses from which associates came This could include t-shirts, pens, and old give-away items.

Create a department address book with addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of all the department members.

Video tape associates telling "Road Stories," or stories about problems in their travels while at the company.

Create "home movies" -- Bring in a video camera and videotape associates sharing memories of various happenings and associates, and reminiscing about the past. This could be copied and given to each member of the department.

Videotape any retirement/leaving parties.

Have a central location for associates to submit best story -- have categories for oldest, most embarrassing, etc., and give prizes for "winners."

Create an "I Bequeath..." booklet.

Have a photo of the people in the department taken by a professional photographer.


Create regular times to have fun, be together, talk and reflect -- for example, rent a movie, go offsite, have popcorn and soda; or maybe a trip to the zoo.

Have a photo exchange -- photos can be swapped, copied or shared.

Give everyone in the department disposable cameras, so they can take pictures of the people and things they want to remember.

Have a garage sale/swap shop of old items from the past.

In department meetings, have a roundtable discussion where people share their dreams of the future.

Have everyone share why they made the decision they did; have the people who are moving share pictures of new living quarters, building, etc.

At a department meeting or get-together, have all associates fill out a series of questions and share the answers, with questions like:
The part of working here I enjoyed most is:
The highlight of my time here was:
The part of working here I can make most use of is:
Something I learned about myself is:
Something I learned about others is:
One thing I regret not having done is:
The one thing I am looking forward to the most is:

Manager's Actions:

Managers should continue to thank people for the job they are doing.

Create and celebrate minor, short term milestones, particularly around items and processes that have been transitioned. Continue to find things and ways to celebrate.

Keep reinforcing the professionalism with which we conduct ourselves -- how we remember ourselves and how others remember us -- our legacy.

Invite Personal Assistance Counselors to participate in staff meetings -- just to listen and help clarify and point out positives.

Recognize this as a process -- use staff meetings to incorporate various components -- e.g. one week have an exchange, one week everyone wear old logo t-shirts, one week the deparment celebrates someone's moving or leaving.


Have a raffle/lottery for predicting the last date for the deparment.

Collect a series of department or company mementos, and give everyone Monopoly money to use to bid on and purchase the items.

Have a raffle where managers give time/effort to an associate (washing the associate's car, or raking leaves).

Give away /raffle off old flags and banners

Special thanks to

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