Jessica's Monthly Management Memo - June 2024


Hi Reader,

Earlier this week, I facilitated a team retreat where we talked about communication for teams—from decision-making to which communications platforms (Slack, text, email, etc.) should be used for different things to how to appreciate and apologize to each other. One of the tools we used was Sam Kaner's Gradients of Agreement for consensus-based decision-making. Aiming for consensus is valuable, especially when a decision is long-lasting and needs strong buy-in from everyone. Have you ever used this tool?

Now let's get to your Monthly Management Memo - as always, with something bold, something new, something borrowed, and something to pursue.

Something Bold - Managing Through Layoffs
We've talked before about how to scale up culture and systems when your team is growing, and one reader (hi Jen!) suggested I share some resources for the opposite situation - when a team is shrinking and having to lose valued team members in the process. Here are some ideas on what to do if that's a situation you find yourself in:

  • LinkedIn Recommendations: Make sure you've done this for anyone you can recommend who is exiting your team. In fact, go do it right now for someone who isn't leaving your team! It's always a kind gesture.
  • Career Coaching: If you have the budget, invest in career coaching to support staff members who are transitioning out when that transition is not in their control.
  • Proactively Reach Out to Your Network: Send emails, or post on LinkedIn, that you can wholeheartedly recommend these people for open roles. Share about what they're great at and offer to make direction connections if anyone who sees the post has a role in mind.
  • Blog About Them: A philanthropic foundation I know and love is spending down their resources and closing up shop soon. They've been posting blogs about the staff who will be moving on. What a great idea!
  • Severance: This might go without saying, but being as generous as possible with severance packages is the most important thing you can do when staff have to lose their roles.

Something New - Olympics next month!
​The Olympics begin next month - it's a time to have a little fun with your colleagues and build culture. Some quick ideas you might consider:

  • Start a Slack Channel or Google Space on the topic of Olympics so folks can chat about it there.
  • Olympic-style games to start a meeting: consider a quick game like a typing contest and have a few colleagues compete to type the fastest (using www.typingtest.com or similar) and other colleagues cheer them on. If you're in-person, you could google myriad "Minute to Win It" type games and spend half an hour on those together.
  • Bring Olympic-themed treats to the office to share
  • Give out gold medals for individuals like "Gold Medalist in Cheering Up Colleagues" or "Gold Medalist in Appreciating Teammates" or "Gold Medalist in Keeping Projects on Track".

Something Borrowed - Managing Through Unionization
As usual, The Management Center has created another strong resource. Recently they published this guide for how to manage well when employees are unionizing. If this is you, I hope it's helpful!​

Something to Pursue - Implementing Project Management Software Well
Many teams fail to effectively implement project management software (like Asana, Trello, or Monday). Here's the most common pitfalls I see and what to do about it:

  • Using it halfway: It’s going to be stressful if you try to use a bunch of different systems and documents to keep track of your tasks. Consolidate.
  • Email notifications aren't setup well. Some people love ‘em. Some people don’t. Most of us could benefit from some of the notifications but not all of the notifications. Set your preferences and/or use email filters to manage.
  • Assuming it doesn’t work if you’re a “paper person”. If it’s your style, take notes on paper. Keep your daily or weekly list on paper. Use project management software for the things paper cannot do. These styles/systems can play beautifully together.
  • Not updating it with your current best thinking. Just because you once thought that task was a good idea doesn’t mean it’s not irrelevant now. Delete! And update those red due dates to match when you really think you’ll do something.
  • Viewing things only in projects. Only viewing things in projects views can cause you to lose things. Be sure also to use the view of everything assigned to you (in Asana this is called“My Tasks”, and other softwares have views like this too).

Let me know if your team needs some workshop time on how to use Asana effectively. I love teaching these!

Bring your team, I'll bring my A-game. I love helping team with workshops on topics of productivity, team culture, and effectiveness at work. Find out more and book a free chat to see if I can be helpful for your organization.

Jessica's Friday Five

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