Thursday, April 14, 2016

Refresh and Recharge and Live and Learn: A Round-Up of Recent Management Resources

Refresh Yourself

Am I the only one that's a little exhausted after this long winter that seems to be so reluctant to actually leave and hand the reins over to spring and summer? Before the incessant sunshine of spring cleaning and creativity has to come out in full force, it’s best for all of us to refresh and recharge. For those feeling a little bit like me, the HubSpot marketing blog recently posted on how to motivate yourself when you’re absolutely exhausted. With ten different strategies to get yourself moving and links to additional articles supporting these strategies, ranging from ‘just get started’ to ‘talk to a coworker’, it’s a great starting point for finding your motivation. 

If it doesn’t seem to be working, though, it’s important to remember that burnout is a very real thing, and it’s crucial to dedicate specific time to ‘time off.’  The Creative Review posted recently that creative brains need the time and space to process the ideas and stimulation generated throughout the workday. Silence and reflection are key components to a healthy balance in life, so be sure to encourage a healthy work-life balance in addition to true breaks from the ‘connectivity’ that social media and technology provide.

Once we’re recharged, how can we feel less stressed and less exhausted in the future? One tangible way is to become more organized. The Chronicle of Higher Education’s blog Vitae recently posted that organization is a skill, not a trait, and is made up of a variety of other skills, such as identifying priorities, breaking down large goals into specific tasks, and effective communication. These skills can be learned, and providing yourself as well as your staff with training on time-management and other related topics can help with stress levels.

In fact, promoting learning within your workplace culture helps give workers all sorts of tools for success.  In a recent post on SHIFT’s eLearning Blog, Karla Gutierrez writes about the benefits of creating a learning-centered work culture and gives you four tangible low-cost actions your group can take, modeled after one of the current greats: Google.  Get information to stick and be useful to your employees, create an environment where employees feel safe to talk about their ideas and ask questions, and promote continuous learning. My personal favorite, though, is learning from celebrated failure. Having the freedom to fail also gives you the power to learn from your mistakes, and as a result is integral to any successful team culture. In my opinion, the freedom to fail is especially important in environments going through major changes, like many libraries these days.

In the spirit of continuous learning and training, the eLearning Industry’s blog recently featured an article showing how training supports organizational change and is an essential part of the change management process. Librarians are implementing and responding to changes in our strategies, structures and systems, and our organizational culture has to respond accordingly. Training can serve as a piece of the puzzle that helps guide your employees through the change journey, increasing your rate of success, encouraging belonging in your staff, and promoting employee engagement – all of which are powerful wins for your team and your organization as a whole.

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